It’s time to inject the thrill of engagement back into loyalty.
The idea that innate excitement is a powerful behavior modifier is not a new one; leading loyalty practitioners have been tapping into tactics like gamification for years. The positive experiences these tactics can offer to customers harbor immense brand value; more than 80% of millennials and nearly two-thirds of baby boomers have reported an interest in getting rewards not just for purchases, but also for deeper engagement with brands. A further 40% of millennials now believe there should be games built into loyalty programs.
What makes for great gamification experiences that not only resonate with customers, but bring life to loyalty so it can transcend the transactional nature that plagues many programs seen today? For SCENE, a Canadian loyalty program for moviegoers (SCENE was established in 2007 by Cineplex Entertainment in partnership with Scotiabank), the answer is to build bridges that connect back to the roots of gaming and tap into a perennially ardent fanbase.
In a first-of-its-kind format, SCENE loyalty members can now take advantage of a partnership with WorldGaming Network by participating in weekly esports and video gaming tournaments hosted through WorldGaming Network’s online platform. A weekly prize pool of up to 50,000+ SCENE points draws in members and evokes the allure of valuable rewards standing at the finish line. Participating members will earn 50 points just for linking their SCENE card to their WorldGaming.com account, and they can continue to earn 125 points every time they check into tournaments.
While the specific format and details of this program may be relatively niche to the operating brands (movies, entertainment, and video games are all intrinsically attuned to the needs and wants of its target demographic), the basic success principles that promise to make for a compelling program can be applied to many loyalty applications. Here are just a few of the fundamentals that SCENE and WorldGaming are evoking in their breakthrough loyalty iteration, which any program would be wise to regard:
Architecting Connected Experiences
In the age of rampant digital socialization, it is a natural step for games to evolve into the collective shared experiences that have become increasingly popular. The beloved game Fortnite continues to stir-up frenzied participation with its group-play configuration. And even before Fortnite, social-based games were precipitated by virtual worlds and MMOG’s (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) like World of Warcraft. These connected experiences do not need to be overly complex to yield benefits for the loyalty programs that leverage them; even basic social media connectivity enacted through existing infrastructure (think contests on Instagram or Facebook) can generate the same equity-bolstering emotions that can fold themselves back onto brands.
Rewarding Multifaceted Engagement
Customers now expect to earn rewards at all levels of program engagement. That’s one reason why escalating points strategies work so well – they ladder up ever-larger tasks involving ever-greater levels of customer commitment, until members are immersed into the depths of the program. SCENE’s enhanced program looks at every opportunity to offer points to their members, including rewarding basic behaviors such as sign-up and account activation.
Power In Partnership
The costs of executing loyalty (and indeed, all forms of marketing) are growing exponentially every day. Last year, U.S. spending on advertising hit a record high of $208 billion, and dollars spent on marketing tactics are expected to continue their upwards march through 2019 and beyond. That’s why partnership loyalty which bolsters the values, strengths, and capabilities of two symbiotic brands can be such a powerful play.
One major benefit is the magnified reach that can be observed by capitalizing on the market familiarity of an additional popular brand name.
In the case of SCENE’s partnership with WorldGaming, the co-branded program is poised to draw in an entirely new contingent of gaming fans who may not have been previously interested or familiar with SCENE. Add in the cost benefits of reward-sharing opportunities and synergetic infrastructure development, and the collaboration between two brand powerhouses in the context of strategic loyalty becomes irresistibly appealing.