Scoring loyalty points with gamification

21st June, 2016

Even the least competitive of us have to admit, that when there’s a prize to be had or a surprise to unlock, we get that ‘gotta have it’ rush. So it’s no wonder that the principles of gaming are spilling over into marketing – especially loyalty schemes.

To keep customers regularly engaging with brands and checking their reward apps, many loyalty schemes now use points and the promise of frequent small bonuses (aka ‘progression’) be they low-value freebies, competitions or exclusive events.

Gamification is so successful because it plays on many of our basic human instincts such as competition amongst players, rewards for good behaviour (be that brand interaction or purchasing) and public recognition for top performers. In no time we’re addicted to the game and brands are rewarded with deeper, longer-term engagement.

Another big plus for brands is that they’re no longer giving away monetary rewards such as money-off vouchers or percentage savings. They can now offer low-value items that have a higher perceived value to the customer simply because they’re a prize.


Unlocking the next level in marketing

It’s good to see that brands don’t necessarily have to invest in an app to make gamification work for them. Zizzi’s 2015 online campaign proved a big hit with a Rugby World Cup scratch card game which tripled click-through rates for their e-newsletter. In fact, Zizzi treated their app as an additional channel, rather than the core channel and made app users feel special, by offering them extra chances to win when they donated to charity.

Gamification isn’t all about loyalty programmes though. It’s a key player in creating brand advocacy, especially when combined with a social sharing element. M&M’s hit the jackpot with their super-simple Pretzel campaign where Facebook users had to spot a pretzel in a grid of M&M’s. It’s a bit like ‘Where’s Wally’, but even more addictive, with over 6,200 shares!




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