Pump Up Your Loyalty Program with Gamification

By: Brandon Solnit


Gamification is a proven method to increase customer engagement and drive sales, but many brands don’t know how. Here’s our take on armoring brand awareness with an offers platform that delivers results.

Creating an engaging and memorable customer experience has become a vital aspect of a brand’s success. Today, brands have been adopting solutions, like loyalty programs, as powerful marketing and engagement tools to enhance the guest’s overall experience. Loyalty programs provide brands with all the tools needed to strengthen brand awareness, drive sales, and attract and retain guests.  

However, the need for a unique, personalized, and engaging loyalty experience has drastically increased as generic discounts no longer fully satisfy the cravings of loyal guests. Today, brands need to give customers a really good reason to open their app. Adding gaming components offers members a sense of intrigue and excitement that results in a fun-filled experience that they are then more willing to repeat. 

What is Gamification and Why is it Important 

Gamification in a loyalty platform is the use of games and challenges for loyal guests to earn exclusive rewards. Games and challenges are often incorporated into a loyalty program to increase guest engagement rates, improve product awareness, and help generate more sales. This method of loyalty creates value without needing to discount goods.

According to a recent survey, brands that incorporate gamification into their customer engagement strategies see a 47% increase in engagement, a 22% increase in brand loyalty, and a 15% increase in brand awareness.  

Starbucks rewards is a notable example of the use of gamification in a loyalty program. Starbucks rewards allow loyal guests to play games and challenges to earn more stars. Stars can then be used to claim rewards like a free drink, bakery item, or select merchandise.  

Providing loyal guests with gamification challenges and the chance to win free rewards has become a must-have feature of a loyalty platform. According to the Incisiv Loyalty Program Index 2022:  

  • 53% of shoppers feel that the presence of games makes the loyalty program experience enjoyable 
  • 81% of loyalty members take advantage of these challenges to earn bonus points or rewards 

Though there is an increasing demand for a gamified loyalty experience, only 17% of restaurant brands offer this functionality on their loyalty platform. Brands should incorporate more gamification into their loyalty platforms to really stay relevant in today’s customer-first market.  

Create a Gamified Loyalty Experience

Loyalty platforms, like Punchh, offer brands integrations to provide a variety of gamification techniques that can be customized into their loyalty experience. Punchh is the customer engagement toolkit for creating retention and remarketing experiences that last.  Since Punchh interacts with guests at every touchpoint, brands will have access to crucial customer data from the gamified interactions. With an extensive understanding of your customers, brands can optimize the mobile customer experience and drive long-lasting one-to-one relationships. 

Gamification Drives Sales

Cheba Hut, a toasted sub sandwich concept, wanted to break the mold of mundane fast-casual restaurant mobile apps and set itself apart from the competition. To reach this goal, Punchh designed a customized loyalty program and integrated it into its game-based rewards system. Cheba Hut allows fans to participate in a Flippy Bird game for a chance to win free rewards. The Flippy Bird game was not only engaging and fun for guests but also allowed Cheba Hut to connect with its fans in a way that resonates with its cannabis-themed sandwich concept. As a result, Cheba Hut saw: 

  • 36% increase in loyalty sales YoY 
  • 14% increase in online loyalty sales 
  • 5% increase in average order check YoY 

Learn More 

Punchh is much more than a loyalty platform. It is an engagement platform designed for creating memorable customer experiences and building lasting relationships between brands and their guests. Request a demo today to learn more about the Punchh loyalty platform and how it can help create gamified experiences.

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