Loyalty for the Little Guys

Loyalty for the Little Guys


Loyalty campaigns have traditionally been the domain of big business (frequent flier plans, credit card points, etc). Except for the dominant model of buy-ten-get-one-free, campaigns are typically expensive and complex with entire agencies and businesses devoted to their design and operation. In today’s article from Econsultancy, our own Gabe Zichermann looks into “Gamification and small business loyalty” and how gamification makes it possible for small and local businesses to create and manage their own loyalty campaigns.

The article outlines a few of the techniques that small businesses can use. Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook, and MyTown are “just add water” solutions that can drastically increase the effectiveness of loyalty campaigns for local businesses. “In order to take advantage of the possibilities, you’ll need to embrace the promise of Gamification and leverage the amazing world of mobile, social rewards,” Zichermann says. Gamification platforms such as Badgeville, Bunchball, and BigDoor are a bit more complex but can customize gamification offering to the needs of the business.

Check out the article on Econsultancy for the full story.


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  1. Gamification is definitely a major asset in the small business owner’s arsenal. The infrastructure is already in place to facilitate the implementation of loyalty programs that break the mold. Foursquare is a great example, but in my opinion, it is just the tip of the iceberg. After hearing Gabe speak last Wednesday at FIDC, I can’t honestly think of a product or service that couldn’t be improved through the application of game mechanics. Just spent 4 hours in a pitching practice session with 6 colleagues from Founder Institute DC and it’s interesting to see that most every founder has a form of gamification in mind for their company. And I’m not talking about just points and badges (nothing wrong with points and badges when done tastefully), but full on game mechanics that are incorporated in the user experience to make the product stickier.