Gamification has become a hot topic in recent years as companies around the globe have realized the inability to drive consumer behaviors with simple discounts, emails, social media posts, paid ads or other traditional marketing strategies. Consumers are becoming more independent every day, unable to be swayed by traditional loyalty tactics such as the “buy 10 get 1 free”. In an industry such a Food & Beverage, these punch cards and transactional based programs are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
In an industry where the margins are low and distribution channels can sometimes be complex many companies try to avoid loyalty programs all together. They instead try to build brand awareness through social media and other outlets but never know the true ROI behind these initiatives other than the amount of likes or comments they’ve gotten. It’s 2017 and it’s also time for a change.
Gamification is the application of game elements into a non-game context such as customer loyalty. It uses human-focused design instead of function-focused, which taps into core human drives to motivate certain behaviors. Certain examples of this in a loyalty program includes levels, challenges, user score board, newsfeed, badges, point system, interactive games, and more. All of these features inside of a well designed and interactive platform work together to create a positive experience for users that encourage them to engage and come back to pick up where they left off. A gamified loyalty platform for the Food & Beverage industry is the perfect fit due to the frequency of brand engagement, connection of online and offline, increase in virality and ability to reward without discounting.
Frequency of Brand Engagement
People eat and drink multiple times every single day, that means your company has multiple opportunities a day with every single consumer to win their attention and business. This frequent engagement with the brand creates a huge opportunity for growth, where gamification can provide the push consumers need to choose you over the competition. Instead of providing a transactional based program and making users feel like they “have” to buy from you in order to redeem their discounts, give them a real experience that makes them want to buy from you! Gamification taps into both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, which work together to persuade users to increase the frequency of engagement with your brand. Using these tactics creates longer lasting results then a simple coupon or discount.
Connect the Online and Offline
Many companies in the Food & Beverage industry also have a complex distribution system with the ability to purchase their product in a multiple physical locations as well as online. They struggle with finding a way to connect consumers offline and online actions and then finding a way to use that data to their advantage. A gamified loyalty platform has the ability to connect all of these channels and actions through the use of surveys, promo codes, QR codes, integrations and social media actions. Once this data is obtained companies can easily understand what product consumers are more likely to purchase as well as when and where, allowing them to send relevant communications personalized to their preferences. This data creates a full profile for consumers allowing companies to truly understand each individual buyer and adapt messaging to their specific preferences and actions.
Increase in Virality
The viral element is a natural side effect of gamification. By giving users a unique, enjoyable experience, they will naturally want to share it with their friends and family. You can take it a step further and provide users with rewards for referring friends and family increasing the likelihood of a boost in user acquisition. There is also a large social sharing element in the gamified platform that allows users to share the prize they won or action they completed on their Facebook page to boost awareness and signups. This information will then show up on their Facebook page allowing people to view it organically and click to sign up themselves. The number of users who sign up to the loyalty platform through these types of posts is automatically tracking within the statistical section of the platform called the viral growth. Gamification isn’t just for enjoyment but it can also track the ROI and acquisition.
Reward without Discounting
The Food and Beverage industry is well known for low margins, with the average profit margin being 5.2% according to Investopedia, so every discount given to consumers has a huge affect on the bottom line. Yet this industry continues to make discounting a huge part of the customer retention strategy, which has been proven to be an ineffective way of actually motivating your consumers and creating brand loyalty. With a gamified loyalty platform you have the ability to easily set up different contests such as a Facebook photo contest, giveaways, scratch and wins, games, social media actions, quizzes, and more, which all engage users and create a more positive experience with your brand than the classic “buy 10 get 1 free” scheme. Stop discounting your items and start giving consumers what they really want, an experience.
So, as you can see the Food & Beverage industry has a lot to gain from gamification from growing their consumer base to retaining customers and learning more about their preferences, there is simply no downside to driving behaviors in a way that is mutually beneficial. If you’d like more information on a gamified loyalty platform feel free to set up a call with our loyalty experts!