Why Loyalty Programs Should Add Badges (Badgification)
Loyalty program gamification is one of the newest innovations in customer engagement. Loyalty programs have typically relied on a core value proposition around earning points: the basic “do-get” concept. Members earn based on their spending and receive some sort of reward. But today’s customers expect more in return for their loyalty. They now seek out programs that elevate the experience and provide fun and entertainment.
Badges, trophies, and similar accolades are very effective elements for improving loyalty program engagement at virtually no cost. In the past, loyalty programs typically relied on a points-earning system, and many haven’t explored how other “gamification” elements can enhance their loyalty solutions. Loyalty programs continue to evolve, and modern consumers expect more in return for their loyalty.
Loyalty Programs Need Badges
By leveraging badges in loyalty programs, marketers can incentivize members and foster long-term program engagement. Badges can motivate loyalty members to spend more money, explore new product lines, and more. Brands could also offer multiple badges or higher badge tiers for recurring participation in specific activities, potentially boosting motivation and program participation.
By awarding badges and other digital accolades to loyalty program members, brands can increase engagement, enhance the customer experience, and achieve their desired marketing goals.
4 Reasons Loyalty Programs Need Badges
Loyalty program gamification now offers many more options than simple point-collecting, and often these options offer more effective benefits for brands. For example, loyalty program badges offer at least four important benefits for brand marketers:
- Behavior change. Loyalty programs are geared towards encouraging members to shop more. By adding the ability to earn badges, you can tap into their competitive nature. Being able to collect unique badges or badges that unlock new opportunities and experiences will encourage members to complete the desired task. That could be making a transaction, completing a promotion, filling out a survey, or more.
- Margin savings. Customers are definitely motivated by discounts, but badges can also incent incremental purchases, spending, or completion of the desired activity, typically at a much lower cost. Rewarding members with a unique or exclusive badge can reduce your program's dependency on discounts which cut into the margin.
- Points liability. With fairly recent accounting changes for loyalty programs, many companies have increased their focus on reducing the point liability associated with their loyalty programs. As an altnernative to points, badges can encourage transactions or activity as an alternative to points, and since the program's digital badges don't convert to rewards with monetary value, badges don't increase program liability in the same way as a points system.
- Appeal to younger shoppers. Layering badges into your program can help to add an array of fun and easy options that may appeal more to younger consumers. Vendors could even jump into the game and offer limited-time badges or badges tied to a specific product purchase.
Having any sort of limited-time or exclusive award or achievement, especially as part of a public profile, will further increase loyalty program engagement and emotional loyalty with the brand.
Badges & Emotional Loyalty
Badges are the loyalty marketers’ best friend. Brands can leverage badges in their loyalty programs to incentivize both increased amounts of engagement with the loyalty program but also increased time duration spent using the loyalty program. By integrating personalized badges, brands promote a sense of accomplishment and recognition with their members. Badges give consumers a sense of accomplishment and recognition, building emotional loyalty with the brand, and the goals or achievements needed to earn them allow brands to target their loyalty members’ activities.
Businesses can use badges in countless ways to target their customers’ activities. To boost motivation even further, brands could offer multiple badges or higher badge tiers for recurring participation. By rewarding members for their engagement, brands ultimately achieve their objectives while providing their most loyal customers with the recognition they deserve. This builds emotional loyalty with the brand and is a win-win for both the consumer and the company.
More Ways to Improve Your Loyalty Program
A lot of loyalty program providers only have one-size-fits-all programs, which have either too many, too few, or just not the right tools for your business. At Brierley, we offer full loyalty solutions as well as over 22 smaller FAST Track Consulting modules that focus on attainable solutions that can be implemented for immediate results, any of which can be chosen or combined.
Make your loyalty program fun! Badges are one element, but there are many other ways you can gamify your loyalty program. Not sure if badges are right for your loyalty program? Contact us, and Brierley's loyalty strategists and analysts will work with you to find the optimal loyalty solution for your business. With our help, you will earn the “Most Profitable Program” badge from your CFO!