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Gamification’s a stealthy way to play loyalty

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Often overlooked, gamification is one of the most effective tactics to encourage desired behaviors and build customer loyalty.

For example, the Starbucks Rewards program is arguable one of the best examples of the effective application of gamification concepts for this purpose.

Using addictive games like the 2018 Starbucks Summer Game Boardwalk where members make purchases for a chance to play and win prizes, the Starbucks Rewards program keeps customers motivated to spend more.
At Starbucks the people who spend the most get rewarded the most. How well is this working? According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Starbucks cards and mobile apps have as much as $1.2 billion loaded onto them as of the first quarter of 2016.

The competition to become consumers’ top of wallet card has never been more heated. In the recent past, banks and credit card issuers have relied on the practice of splurging on lucrative sign-up bonuses and rich rewards to lure new members.

However, margin pressure, higher loan losses and rising costs make this approach increasingly unsustainable. Moving forward, more innovative thinking will be needed to achieve competitive advantage and differentiation without breaking the bank.

This includes the application of gamification, science, psychology and deeper customer insights to design benefits and redeeming experiences that resonate with customers and tap into their natural instincts for competition, simplicity and curiosity.

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