At first glance, adding gamification to your loyalty program may seem unnecessary. After all, it’s inherently gamified, right? Members take actions that earn points toward an achievement (i.e., a new loyalty level or reward).
However, the world of loyalty gamification can go far beyond simple points and tier systems to become a truly fun foray for committed customers. By offering various opportunities to earn points (like social shares, quizzes, or surveys), as well as interactive and competitive elements (like leaderboards or challenges), your loyalty program can ignite participation, excite members, and delight customers.
The potential benefits of gamifying your loyalty program are countless, but here are three you’re sure to see.
Customers get to choose their own adventure
When playing a game, players make strategic choices — and that’s what makes them interesting. Nobody wants to play a game where there’s only one (unchanging) way to win, path to follow, or move to make. And the same goes for loyalty. Programs that include elements of strategy and give members a choice as to how they engage or earn points are more satisfying and rewarding than those that don’t.
An activewear and shoe retailer kept things interesting for its fans by giving them an abundance of ways to get involved. This includes a constant supply of opportunities for fans to share stories about their first purchase and other topics relevant to the brand’s audience (in exchange for points) on social media. With 1.5 million members registered within the first few months of the program, the strategy is paying off. Remember, customers are choosy — and they should be able to pick their own approach to loyalty.
It fuels the competition
Winning against a clock or smashing your own goals is a great feeling, but nobody can deny that coming out on top against real people is kind of unbeatable. A little friendly competition can go a long way. How else do you explain the success of video games like Fortnite, that allow people to play others around the world? Loyalty programs can (and should) encourage competition between members, whether through leaderboards, achievement badges, or member challenges.
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom’s OC Rewards Program wanted to add a competitive element to its loyalty program on top of awarding points per dollar spent. Thus, the “World Beer Tour” was introduced to promote the rotating beer taps at its restaurant locations. With 110 beers in the lineup, rewards members can work toward drinking every type of beer available to gain a position in the “Hall of Foam.” This prize of being honored above other members has fueled Old Chicago’s loyal customers, who now generate a third of the restaurant’s revenue.
Fun never goes out of style
Never underestimate the power of a good time — or the ability for a loyalty program to deliver one through the addition of gamification. When members learn to associate your brand and program with entertainment and amusement (and not just a way to earn points), you’ve taken a large step toward emotional loyalty.
Starbucks is a prime example of a loyalty program that embraces the value of fun. Beyond providing stars (its version of points) through purchases, the coffee company offers regular games to give members even more ways to engage. From bingo to hopscotch to its annual Starbucks for Life campaign, these bonus games use amusement to motivate members, keeping the Starbucks audience engaged and active.
From sports to video games to hide-and-seek, we’re a game-obsessed society. We love contemplating strategy, the social side of competing, and (most of all) having fun. Loyalty programs that include gamification will not only improve the satisfaction that comes with earning rewards, but also the overall customer experience.
For a loyalty solution that easily integrates membership tiers, quizzes, and other playful functionalities (without the need for excessive development), contact Marigold Engage+.