Liquid Barcodes


Insomnia Inspires Loyalty

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


This article first was published on Global Convenience Store Focus.

While ‘insomnia‘ is not generally considered an enjoyable experience, one leading retailer in Ireland has leveraged the idea behind ‘being awake’ to build a successful and award-winning independent coffee chain brand. The Insomnia Coffee Company began life in a single bookstore in 1997 and now boasts over 150 stores throughout the country – many operating as franchises in top fashion destinations such as Debenhams and Primark.

Having launched it’s loyalty programme Insomnia Treats almost five years ago in 2014, the company has continued to invest in connecting with its customers as well as adding useful payment functionality to its loyalty app in order to compete with the consumer trends we’ve seen from industry leaders such as Starbucks. And the investments are paying off, with the Insomnia Coffee Company beating tough competition from top retailers Applegreen and O’Brien’s Sandwich Bars to win the “QSR Loyalty Programme of the Year” at the inaugural Irish Loyalty Awards in March 2019.

In this article, we review the strategy and structure behind this highly successful Irish loyalty programme, from a company that has also recently added the title of the ‘Retail Franchise of the Year” and a “Deloitte Best Managed Company” award to its list of achievements.

Insomnia Treats app

The Insomnia Treats app – the top QSR Loyalty Programme in Ireland 

Insomnia Treats

Insomnia Treats members enjoy a range of loyalty benefits,

    • The programme offers users the option of a digital app as well as a plastic card or fob to scan at the till to track purchases.
    • Members earn every tenth drink free. You can earn or claim either hot or iced drinks from the company’s range of own-brand drinks.
    • Members earn two “beans” for every euro spent – a 2% earn ratio for purchases.
    • Beans convert to a cash value on the member’s account which can be used against future Insomnia purchases.
    • Birthday treats are offered for all members.
    • Each member also enjoys one free seasonal drink from the exciting products the company launches for every season of the year.
    • In 2016, the company added additional payment functionality and mobile payments as shown in the video below.

Insomnia Coffee Company in Ireland – Treats Loyalty Programme Video Introduction. 

Driving Better Behaviour

One additional strategy we’ve been impressed with is the use of the rewards programme to actively incentivise the use of re-usable cups, with customers earning an extra twenty loyalty “beans” for this specific behaviour. A clever concept to use their loyalty programme to impress eco-conscious consumers who increasingly challenge brands to demonstrate positive brand values throughout their business.

With two “beans” typically awarded per euro spent, this is a generous reward that would otherwise require a €10 spend in store.

re-usable Cup

Twenty Bonus Beans for using your re-usable Cup

Driving Positive Behaviour Change Using Insomnia Treats Loyalty

In essence, the Insomnia brand is focused on simplicity and staying relevant to its customers and members. Certified FairTrade since 2006, the company estimates that it now sells over 30 million Fairtrade cups of coffee each year. Beyond its loyalty programme, it also offers customers who enjoy gardening the option of collecting bags of recycled coffee beans to use as free fertiliser on plants at home! So simple and so effective.

While Insomnia is only gradually expanding outside of Ireland to its neighbouring market in the UK, its clear that its business philosophy combined with a clear, consistent and compelling digital loyalty programme is driving real business results with a recent restructure and payout of over €12 million in profits to shareholders. Now that is truly the company’s most inspiring treat!

Insomnia logo

About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialised for the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer Group, as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards. 


Blog post

Everyone Wins With App Games

Games reward customers for visiting an app and encourage them to visit the store. Customers love to feel appreciated, they love a good deal and they especially love winning.  Customers are excited when they get a good discount or coupon. And, they truly feel like winners after playing and winning a game. It is easy […]

Blog post

Liquid Barcodes Connects With Convenience Industry Leaders in Texas

The Liquid Barcodes team networks and learns at 2023 NAG Conference in Austin, Texas. Last week, Liquid Barcodes attended and exhibited at the US convenience industry conference held by the National Advisory Group (NAG). Among those present from the Liquid Barcodes team were Saurabh Swarup, General Manager of North America and Jose Santiago, Head of […]

Blog post

5 Cs of Summer: Cold Coffee, Clean Cars & Convenience

Subscription programs are a great way to secure long-term customer loyalty and revenue. Whether you are providing a subscription for beverages or car washes, securing recurring monthly revenue is imperative to stay competitive.   Summer is around the corner and retail marketers are crafting sunny campaigns to increase customer traffic to the store. Help those […]

Blog post

Circle K Makes a Splash With Car Wash Subscription Program in Europe

Circle K has extended its highly successful car wash subscription program to Norway after successful implementations in the United States, Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Estonia. Circle K’s vast global network of car washes has digitally transformed operations with its revolutionary car wash subscription program. First launched in Denmark and the U.S. in 2020, the program […]

Blog post

Newly Redesigned Brezelkönig App Accepts Payments and Rewards Loyalty

Swiss foodservice chain Brezelkönig releases app update which offers customers the convenience of earning rewards and paying for products with the app in stores.  The recently-updated Brezelkönig app allows pretzel-loving customers to enjoy recognition and rewards for their loyalty. Additionally, the Brezelkönig app accepts payments to make the customer experience even more convenient.  Brezelkönig is […]

Blog post

Sunshine Gasoline Introduces ACH-Only Mobile Payment for Fuel

Florida convenience retailer releases fuel payment app accepting only ACH payment, saving thousands in payment processing fees for the retailer. Sunshine Gasoline upgraded its Max Carwash App to Sunshine Brand featuring a special fuel pay program, powered by C-StorePay by Liquid Barcodes, which allows consumers to conveniently pay for fuel using the app. Customers simply […]

Blog post

2022: An Outstanding Year for Liquid Barcodes and Our Customers

In 2022, Liquid Barcodes witnessed a year of unprecedented growth with customers, products and team members. Every great business has an inspiring founding story and Liquid Barcodes’ 10-year journey is inspiring the future of loyalty. Beginning as a startup in Norway, the company opened its second office in the United States in early 2022 and […]

Blog post

What Is C-StorePay?

Liquid Barcodes’ proprietary C-StorePay makes paying for fuel, in-store merchandise, and subscription programs convenient for customers, reduces credit card fees for retailers, and integrates easily into existing loyalty programs Announced in October 2022, the revolutionary Liquid Barcodes C-StorePay product rose to the top of retailers’ 2022 wish lists at the NACS Show, even achieving a […]

Blog post

Polish Retail Leader Żabka Launches Coffee Subscription Program

Polish retail giant, Żabka introduces a monthly coffee subscription program across its vast store network. With its new coffee subscription program, Żabka Polska will certainly dominate the beverage category in Poland’s unique convenience market. In July 2022, Dr. Adam Manikowski, Managing Director of Żabka Polska, was featured on the popular Global Convenience Store Focus video […]

Blog post

Loyalty Apps Engage Customers

98% of loyalty app users love using a loyalty app and want more features from it. In September 2022, NACS published a report examining customer engagement with convenience loyalty programs. Unsurprisingly, customers feel most engaged, appreciated and valued by the stores to which they belong in a loyalty or membership program – nearly ¾ of […]

Blog post

Save Thousands in Credit Card Fees With ACH

Visa and Mastercard announced an increase in interchange fees earlier in the year and retailers are taking action and sending a message by migrating their customers to new solutions, including mobile app-based ACH payments, and in the process increasing profits by not only reducing credit card fees but also boosting loyalty via innovative app-based incentive […]

Blog post

Maxol Launches First-of-Its-Kind Loyalty App

Maxol, Ireland’s largest family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer, announced it has launched a new customer loyalty app with never-before-seen features in the Irish market. After more than a century serving Irish customers, Maxol’s 240+ stores and service stations are located throughout Ireland and have enjoyed global recognition for their best-in-class operations, store design and offers. […]

Blog post

Delivering Personalized Content With Machine Learning and Image Recognition

Build personalized customer connections, improve efficiency, and make intelligent, data-driven decisions using machine learning and image recognition.   It’s 7:15 in the morning and a customer – Amy – is on her way to work. She is on the hunt for coffee and breakfast and stops at a convenience store. She opens her store app […]

Blog post

Circle K’s Use of Beacon Technology to Activate Car Wash Subscription Program

Beacon Technology and Car Wash Subscription Programs Beacon technology used in tandem with a customer-facing car wash subscription program revolutionizes the customer experience by providing a quick, convenient experience. Innovation is the key to continued growth and ensuring a frictionless customer experience should be top of mind for any retailer. Circle K’s vast global network […]

Liquid Barcodes

Put a rocket under your loyalty program

With our loyalty platform, we help design and operate world-class, tailor-made subscription and reward programs that make sure your customers always come back.

Book a Demo →

We are trusted by global brands.

Convenience retailers all over the world have engaged and rewarded consumers with our tailor-made loyalty programs.

To our case studies →

Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes

Convenience retailers all over the world have engaged and rewarded consumers with our tailor-made loyalty programs.

To our case studies →

Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes