How to Use Game Mechanics to Reward Your Customers
There's a green card. Then there's silver, gold, and platinum. And then there's the Centurion—the black American Express card. Which do you want in your wallet? A handful of luxury brands have for decades used promises of status to encourage customers to spend more through loyalty to their brands. Today, brands of all stripes are experimenting with the psychology of status and power in rewarding customers. Consider Foursquare, a company built entirely on a game-design model. The new rewards ecosystem is a marketer's dream. "Historically, customer engagement was something big brands did a lot better due to full scale loyalty programs," says Gabe Zichermann, a blogger who authored Game-Based Marketing and who hosts of the Gamification Summit. That's changing. Rewarding Customers Through Gamification: Why Game Mechanics? People are hard-wired to enjoy positive reinforcement. "Foursquare was a really great early example of this happening," McGonigal says.