3 Tips To Gamify Your Loyalty Program

By: Stacy Belanger


With the world returning to some level of normalcy, the option for guests to fill their bellies and invest their time is widening. Brands who want to stay top of mind are looking for ways to create a one of a kind experience for their guests. Many brands are looking to gamification to further drive customer loyalty for new members and current guests.  

Gamification within a loyalty program helps create a deeper connection to the brand and adds a new opportunity for guests to engage with your loyalty program and earn rewards. 

Here are some top loyalty program gamification tips for rewarding your loyal fan base. 

Challenge Guests to Earn Rewards

Challenges are a great way to further drive loyalty and engagement with your program, and incentivize guests to engage more with your brand. With challenges, you can incentivize guests to adopt a new behavior or lean into an existing behavior leading to increased engagement. 

Before you decide on the challenge you want to implement, you need to consider what goal you would like to achieve or behavior you would like to change. This will help you to identify which segments to target and what actions the guest must complete in order to be rewarded, whether it is to drive frequency, increase spend, or encourage a specific daypart. For example, if you want to increase online orders, challenge a group of guests who have never placed an online order to do their first visit in this channel, while a guest who has placed online orders in the past may be challenged to do an additional visit in a time period. 

By creating unique challenges, meeting guests where they currently are, you are able to further personalize your program, making the program unique to each guest and creating a one-to-one connection. 

When thinking about the challenges you want to trigger to guests, consider some of these: 

  • If you are trying to increase frequency in a slower month, challenge guests to visit a set number of times during the month. To layer in personalization, target guests based on their current frequency and challenge 2 additional visits during the month. 
  • Increasing sales can be done by challenging guests to try specific menu items, like LTO’s or sides/ desserts 
  • Drive traffic on slower times of the day by challenging guests to visit in a specific day part. 

Challenges run through Punchh have increased visits during the campaign period of upwards to 65%. Even more exciting is that during the post challenge period, visits were still up 20% compared to the pre campaign period. 

Make Your Mobile Rewards App Interactive with Games

Another way to add gamification to your loyalty program is with the addition of in-app mobile games.

Guests are looking for ways to relate to a brand, even further than food product items. In-app games give guests an opportunity to interact with a brand to earn rewards.  Games are a great way to increase visibility to all “areas” within your app. By exposing new ways customer engagement gamification on your app and allowing guests to earn rewards for a future visit, they are boosting overall app and program engagement.

Punchh offers a variety of games, most popular being scratch and match. Brands can customize the rules based on their business goals.

Increase Guest Engagement with Sweepstakes/Contests

Contests and Sweepstakes are another great way to challenge guests to earn rewards! Like challenges, these types of gamification can encourage a new behavior from guests helping your brand to increase frequency and sales. 

Sweepstakes can be used to generate brand awareness, drive program participation, and even to acquire new guests. Contests are a great way to engage with loyalty guests and get user generated content that business can then use at a later date.  

Another opportunity is engaging in partnerships with third parties to layer in more gamification. Fazoli’s ran a Coke Sweepstakes contest encouraging guests to purchase Coke products during the summer of 2021 to be eligible for prizes, like free Fazoli’s for a year. Coke sales through the loyalty program increased 80% and overall participation rate increased 6%. 

Here are some ideas for sweepstakes/contests that you may want to bring to your loyalty program in 2022:

  • To acquire new guests, partner with a vendor, like T-Mobile, to give codes for guests to unlock on T-Mobile Tuesdays. 
  • Challenge guests to post a photo with an LTO item on social media to drive product sales.  
  • Drive participation in the program by implementing an employee contest to encourage team members to promote the program and drive sign ups. 

Gamification is a great tool to drive program value for your guests while helping you achieve goals of increasing frequency and sales. Take a quick demo to learn how the Punchh Loyalty, Engagement and Offer Platform runs gamification challenges and more.

Stay in the know. Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter to receive proven loyalty strategies, offer management techniques, and new trends in your industry. Sign up today!