The gamification of loyalty schemes is accelerating in the Irish market with the advent of Topaz’s “Play or Park” game.
Chilli Pepper Marketing, the specialist loyalty company that advised Topaz on the game, believes other brands will have to update their schemes if they want to keep customers engaged.
“Topaz are luckily the first ones out there,” says Leanne Papaioannou, managing director of Chilli Pepper Marketing. “Other schemes will have to evolve.”
The fuel retailer is investing €3 million in the online and app-based game, which dangles luxury lifestyle experiences as monthly prizes to players who have amassed sufficient points through Topaz purchases.
It also offers “rewards” such as free coffees and sandwiches when customers use up their points by playing.
From this weekend, the scheme will be backed by an advertising campaign created for Topaz by Target McConnells, which also designed the app and website for the game.
Loyalty schemes have become ubiquitous since the onset of the recession that it has become difficult for brands to get theirs to stand out – customers, after all, can’t be loyal to everyone.
Although nine in 10 Irish consumers are estimated to carry at least one loyalty card and six in 10 carry more than three, consumers typically participate in fewer than half of the schemes to which they belong, Papaioannou says.
“A lot of the time it is because the offers are very similar across a lot of loyalty programmes,” she says. “They become stale and irrelevant to customers.”