Recently Caitlin Whitehurst from COLLOQUY penned an article titled “Shock and Awesome: The Science Behind Why Surprise Rewards Work and Who is Using Them”, an extract also featured in Retailwire, generated some interesting comments.
“Surprise rewards work as long as two conditions are met, said Dr. Josh Klapow, chief behavioral scientist for ChipRewards, an incentive an engagement company. They work if they are novel to the individual and they are reinforcing and rewarding”
Quoted amongst some of the successful programs that Shock and Awe are:
- Guests enrolling in the new Caribou Coffee’s Perks program earn a free medium drink for registering. Members who opt-in to receive email or text messages are notified each time they earn rewards, which Caribou says will always be a surprise. Rewards may include a beverage size upgrade, an item from the bakery case or a favorite Caribou drink. ”We feel the ‘surprise and delight’ model aligns well with the personality of the Caribou brand, which focuses on making our coffeehouses feel comfortable and cozy, and doesn’t take ourselves too seriously,” Michele Vig, Caribou’s vice president of marketing, said in an email. “Additionally, we’ve found that not every guest wants the same reward, so offering a free latte when a guest reaches a certain amount of points isn’t going to be attractive and rewarding by everyone.”
- Under its Priceless Surprises program launched earlier this year, MasterCard customers who tweet under #PricelessSurprises have the chance to be treated to an escalating tier of awards such as speakers, headphones, music downloads, free Uber transportation and a day with Justin Timberlake. Surprises are based on the customer’s day-to-day card use and social media interaction. ”With a ‘surprise’ it truly becomes about the individual and his or her experience and that’s where we want to play as a brand,” said Lilian Tomovich, SVP of consumer marketing at MasterCard. “It’s not about one size fits all or reaching the masses, but rather how we touch our cardholders individually in a way that is meaningful to them.”
The ability to run Shock and Awe promotions is potential even greater through leveraging consumer’s smartphones and a proximity campaign with Beacons (iBeacons). Imagine a consumer who has downloaded their favourite Brand’s smartphone App which has been proximity enabled to recognise iBeacons. The consumer enters their Brand’s retail outlet and is greeted with a personalized welcome notification on their smartphone. Puzzled by the notification, the consumer opens the App and is delighted to find a special free offer rewarding them for being in store that day.
Naturally, in this example, we assume that the consumer is a member of the Brand’s loyalty program and has requested to receive offers from the Brand.
The power of iBeacon’s in proximity marketing is potentially great, especially around the ability to truly shock and awe loyal customers, so to is the potential to drive customers to shut off their smartphones is the concept is over utilsed.
Lets hope great marketers create some awesome promotions around the new Beacon technology, but remember the wise words of the Dr.. Shock and Awe promotions “work if they are novel to the individual and they are reinforcing and rewarding”