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Metzner | Schneider Associates
February 20, 2011 - Page 1

Playing Games, Building Loyalty

Gaming within the context of loyalty can mean many things ranging from the
literal (loyalty programs for casinos) to the promotional (next generation
sweepstakes, contests, collection games) to the emerging (geo-check-in or virtual
community games). Which to use and when to use them need to be evaluated in
the broader context of your overall goals for engagement and data capture.

To review the primary types of gaming in the market:

Type of game Best uses Who uses it

Sweepstakes /drawings − Short term acquisition Broadly used in retail,
/collection games builder, especially for CPG or quick serve, and CPG.
− Entries based on OEMs who do not control Brands with significant
purchases selling channel results:
− Entries based on − Bring attention to an event − McDonald’s
photos, videos, or product change Monopoly
product reviews − Create friendly context to − Gap Casting Call
− Entries based on gather profile information − Doritos Superbowl
social media (geo- e.g. back to school sweeps, Ad
check-in, Facebook, baby registry, etc. − Sears Billion Points,
Twitter, etc.) Baby Me, Smarty
Points, etc.
Games online or mobile − Create engagement with − Wrigley’s
apps product features and Candystand game
benefits. portal
− Keep brand presence top of − Milk Council
mind − United Economy Plus
Note: Game refresh or new
game needed every 2-6
Virtual rewards − Provide context for engaging Entertainment
/avatars /badging with product information or programs:
/leaderboards upcoming product releases − WB Insider Rewards
− Reward writing product − Disney Movie
reviews Rewards
− NBC FanIt
Geo-checkin or POS − Reward store or site visit − Best Buy & American
instant win − Encourage incremental visit Eagle via Shopkick
(unproven) − Intercontinental &
Virgin America via
− K-mart K’Ching
− Borders via Google &
− Gap via Facebook

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Metzner | Schneider Associates
February 20, 2011 - Page 2
Tie-in to independent − Leverage broader audiences − 7-11 tie-in to Mafia
game platforms such of established platforms Wars and Farmville
as Farmville − Brand positioning for hipster
Socially conscious − Associating brand with social − Causeworld
portals concerns or community − Pepsi Refresh

6620 Gaston Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75214 214.827-3988

Metzner | Schneider Associates
February 20, 2011 - Page 3

The brands that are beginning to do it right (Starbucks and Starwood, Hardee’s
and Carl’s Jr.) create a mobile app where the fundamental underpinning is loyalty
– the goal is to build engagement into the app (convenience, utility,
entertainment) so that it drives sustained usage by the consumer. Leveraging QR
codes can be a powerful play to reach the target demographic and allow for many
cool things to be done (enhance store experience, facilitate product search and
recommendations, gain loyalty credit) that incorporate a game mentality within
the app itself.
There are obvious worst practices where the game content or faulty execution
detract from the brand message or outright alienate an already skeptical
generation of shoppers. The not so obvious worst practices are the many games
that have very few participants due to a lack of marketing support—Pepsi Refresh
relies on significant above the line media support. The point is that one needs to
invest in awareness for the game as well as awareness for your brand.
Maintaining currency becomes a business unto itself—resources for regular
refreshes for games and evaluation of emerging platforms need to be built into
program management. The cycle time has decreased dramatically—where
traditional loyalty programs refresh every 3-6 years, game refreshes need to be in
market every 3-6 months.
One of the things to keep in mind with gaming is that an ongoing loyalty program
tends to have higher penetration of your customer base and collect more in-depth
customer data. In Sears’ recent sweepstakes, “What would you do with 1 billion
points?”, customers uploaded almost 50,000 video entries, which received just
under 500,000 votes. (Please note that these numbers were publically available
from the sweepstakes website which is why we can share them.) That is, by a
factor of 10, the largest video upload contest. However, the results pale
compared to the growth in their loyalty program membership from POS
enrollments during the same period.
And while a sweepstakes can gather many email addresses very quickly,
customers typically volunteer full postal addresses and phone numbers as well as
contact permissions to join a loyalty program. Some programs capture gender,
birth year and other preferences at time of enrollment as well.
In the end, games need to be evaluated in terms of their ability to stimulate the
desired behaviors that drive ROI–participation with the game does not itself mean
engagement with your brand or purchase of your merchandise.
If gaming tactics attract so many fewer participants and have such risks, why do
them? Because when well-designed, they keep a program fresh, create new
venues for engagement, and can jump start enrollment for new programs or newly
identified customer segments. Games provide opportunities for brands to reward
group shopping behavior or online browsing, drive product reviews, and introduce
new products or locations.

6620 Gaston Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75214 214.827-3988

Metzner | Schneider Associates
February 20, 2011 - Page 4
Gaming tactics can be very effective when used
appropriately and should be integrated into a larger
customer engagement framework with their design
based on customer insight gained from research and
data analytics.

6620 Gaston Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75214 214.827-3988

Metzner | Schneider Associates
February 20, 2011 - Page 5

Gaming tactics successfully driving loyalty

These screen caps show how some other industry leading brands are using games
to enhance their program members’ experience and drive loyal behavior.
WB Insider Rewards: Warner
Bros. wants to identify and
reward valuable behaviors even
when they don’t involve an
immediate purchase. WB Insider
Rewards created a platform to
leverage across titles for games,
sweepstakes and digital content.
The program rewards purchases
points and also gives credit for
playing games online, posting
reviews, viewing trailers and other engaging activities.

Kmart K’Ching: K’Ching is an instant reward program implemented through

the existing Kmart POS system where
rewards range from home makeovers
to a free soft drink. The program,
which is one benefit of the larger Shop
Your Way Rewards program, created a
reason for Kmart cash customers to
self-identify across weekly purchases.
The program is refreshed at least
quarterly and even monthly which
maintains both member interest and
keeps participation by merchants and
featured vendors high.

Sears Sweepstakes—Smarty Points, Baby Me Points, Pack Up the Points

Sweepstakes: Sweeps and games can be deployed in a targeted strategy; each

6620 Gaston Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75214 214.827-3988

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of these sweepstakes was built to create engagement for a target segment at a
key moment in their lifecycle when they are open to purchasing specific products.

− Smarty Points for back to school children’s apparel, footwear and

school supplies

− Baby Me Points to gain visibility for the Baby Registry

− Pack Up the Points targeted movers for home services and Kenmore
As the lines between gaming, marketing and customer interaction continue to
blur, marketers continue to explore creative new ways to leverage the
engagement games can drive in ways that produce measurable ROI and reinforce
profitable, loyal customer behaviors. Games are rapidly becoming an innovative
tool in the kit of tactics available to loyalty marketers.

6620 Gaston Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75214 214.827-3988