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Marketinggenius.beHow can customers be made loyal to a fuel-brand : creating loyalty through gamification, urban
The Greek philosopher Plato once said you could learn more about a man in one hour of
play than in a whole year of conversation. Plato was on to something. It turns out that
you can not only learn more about people while they play, but that you can also enhance
consumption while people play and at the same time tackle the issue of brand loyalty in a
new and novel way. This opens interesting avenues for ambitious marketeers.
By embedding the traditional marketing campaign in the context of a game, customer
loyalty can be reinforced and the whole brand experience can be reshaped. Some call it
gamification, but in truth it is nothing more than applying game elements and digital
game design techniques to non-game problems, such as business and social impact
THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF THE GAME
A game can be conceptualized as a set of rules that reinforce, regulate and reward a certain
kind of behavior (here: consumption). The rules define the boundaries of the game (the
playing field) and also allow to keep some kind of score (defining the winners and
the losers). In a sense Q8’s current loyalty program can be seen as a proto-game. The
rules are very simple: after swiping your Plus-Point keychain/card, you can (as a player/
consumer) earn Plus-Points when you fill up your car. These plus points can - at a later
stage - be redeemed for a monetary value (reward structure).
THE LIMITS OF Q8’s EXISTING LOYALTY PROGRAM
Q8’s current loyalty program has some important limitations which might give it an
outdated feel and - more importantly - might actually weaken its effectiveness. The
following list gives a brief overview of the most noticeable limitations:
a. The core game-mechanic is too easyb. The ‘game’ can only be played while filling up the carc. The game is solitary / non-social
ENHANCING THE CURRENT LOYALTY PROGRAM
By incorporating challenges and badges - much like Foursquare does - the core game-
mechanic can be enriched. The possibilities are endless. Imagine getting additional plus-
points and/or a badge when you fill up your gas tank at 1AM in the morning (night owl
badge), or imagine getting something for filling up at each Q8 station in Belgium (explorer
badge) or imagine getting something for buying a sandwich after you filled up your gas tank
(gourmet badge). Additionally these badges can be shared on your facebook or on twitter
page, adding a social gaming component to the loyalty program. The social gaming
component can also be incorporated by setting up leaderboards. These in turn further
strengthen a kind of social competition.
A second problem with the current loyalty program is that it can only be played at the gas
station. Players have to follow a tiresome procedure before they can play. One should ask
himself if accessing the game should be that difficult. Firms like GetYoo and JCDecaux
provide the tools to create an urban gaming experience through interactive outdoor
advertising. Using your smartphone, additional game/brand-content can be accessed and
displayed interactive billboards scattered throughout the cityscape. Each billboard then
effectively becomes an interactive gateway pointing towards the brand.
A MARKETING GENIUS CAN DREAM … RIGHT ??
Imaging using your smartphone to pilot a surfer (this is a tongue in cheek reference to
the Q8 brand logo) displayed on an interactive billboard at the Meir in Antwerp. After
completing this arcade style game (I’m thinking on a variation on )
you can get bonus plus-points if you fill up their gas tank within a day at a nearby Q8
station. I know I will get hooked and I’m pretty sure you will as well. THE GAME IS ON!
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