Bridging the real-world/social media loyalty gap

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on July 8, 2010

Bridging the real-world/social media loyalty gap

Pelago, the producer of the real-world experiential game called 'Whrrl', has announced the launch of its new 'Whrrl Society Rewards' social loyalty programme designed to close the gap between a brand's online social media presence and its real-world presence.

The programme was designed to help brand marketers unite word-of-mouth influence and customers' real-world store visits, rewarding them for motivating others to visit the store.

According to Pelago, Whrrl Society Rewards is a new kind of loyalty programme, different from traditional loyalty schemes in four key ways:

  1. Whrrl Society Rewards is prize-based. Consumers have an opportunity to win prizes when they check in to participating retail locations and earn additional opportunities to win as they achieve higher levels in Societies, which happens as others act on their recommendations. Because the rewards are prizes of chance, the programme can be started and stopped easily and quickly, without the long-term financial liabilities that come with traditional transaction-based loyalty programmes.  
  2. While traditional programmes tend to be based on transactions, Whrrl Society Rewards is based on the consumer's ability to inspire friends to try new ideas in real-world places. When a user recommends an idea, they earn points. Users receive additional points when others either want to or actually to try their idea, or even when they pass on the recommendation to their own friends. Users can also earn points by getting others to join the programme, and by checking in at qualifying locations.  
  3. Retailers and brands can have their own 'societies' on Whrrl. Societies are interest groups for the real-world, bringing people together to motivate each other to try new things in a range of topic areas, including live music, fashion, food, shopping, outdoor activities, and 'follow in the footsteps' groups. Retailers and brands can use their own Whrrl societies to help motivate customers to join, thereby activating and engaging them in the real world as well.  
  4. Whrrl societies are viral. There are many opportunities for society members to share their enthusiasm and experiences with friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, from check-ins and recommendations to prize-winning moments, all of which organically grows the society.

As part of the programme's launch, Whrrl has signed up fuel retailer Murphy USA as its first partner. When customers check in with Whrrl at one of Murphy USA's 1,100 locations nationwide, they will be accepted into the 'Murphy USA Society' and earn a chance to immediately win free fuel.

Murphy USA also engaged the services of social shopper marketing agency Collective Bias to create a social media advocate community, which it hopes will drive participation in the Murphy USA Society as well as the retailer's future digital and social initiatives.

"Traditional loyalty programmes can create the wrong expectations with customers because discounts based on transactions don't always lead to a deeper relationship," said Casey Petersen, social media marketing manager for Murphy USA."

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