Guess I gotta eat my words. In a previous post I dismissed as frivolous a colleagues announcement that she had unlocked the ’10 hundreds’ badge in foursquare. Then I started playing with the app. I’ve been checking in religiously (to the annoyance of my wife) for about the last three weeks, unlocking badges left and right. I gotta admit, this foursquare stuff is pretty fun! Compared with the other apps I’ve been trying, nobody does a better job with the ‘gamification’ piece than foursqure. I’m still not the mayor of my daily coffee haunt (Peet’s), but I’m determined to ascend to the throne soon. You listening ‘Chall F.’?
It’s not perfect. I unlocked the ‘Bender’ badge last night with a check in to Westmoreland Park. Yeah, a buddy on a local softball team gave me a beer while I watched the game, but it wasn’t like I was at a bar. And it made me feel a little weird to get the award while hanging out with my boys ages 6 and 3. Also, like the rest location services I’ve tried, its doesn’t track my current whereabouts with pinpoint accuracy. Still, the fun factor has me hooked.
And what about the loyalty offers? They are as diverse as the merchant’s who have devised them. Fertile ground for mining ideas about what is working, or what merchants perceive is working to create consumer engagement. Most of the ‘specials nearby’ are visit based offers, the most engaging being the ones that give you a reward with each check in. Other rewards are reserved only for the mayor. This creates a great incentive to manifest the throne, but limits the reward to only one customer, which I’m pretty sure isn’t going to affect sales that much. My favorite offers are the ones that reward you when you check in with a friend, which is a great way for the merchant to cross promote the use of foursquare.
Finally, foursquare does a good job of limiting the ‘specials nearby’ to locations that are, well, nearby. All of the specials I pull up when in downtown Portland are within walking distance.
It will be interesting to find out more from the merchants about how they calibrated their offers, and to find out how many customers are using foursquare to redeem rewards.
Crap. ‘Chall F.’ just checked in again at Peet’s.