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Typical loyalty programs seek to change consumer behavior using rewards and exclusive promotions. Typical mobile engagement strategies incentivize specific actions and require the customer to constantly check for updates to the app. Taco Bell is not a typical brand, however, and Taco Bell Explore is certainly not a typical loyalty program.
Explore is a game within the Taco Bell app that is built almost entirely on surprise and delight; customers aren’t told what kind of actions will be rewarded, only that the app rewards users who “Live Mas.” Users are able to connect social media accounts to the app, allowing the game to automatically detect meaningful experiences.
These actions include things like ordering food on a mobile device, but also extend well beyond the app; users earn points based on connected social media posts, including Facebook statuses, Tweets, and Instagram pictures. “Live Mas” experiences earn puzzle pieces, which can be used to complete puzzles within the game and earn Taco Bell rewards.
This kind of experiential mobile engagement is clearly targeted toward younger millennials. By rewarding customers for living out meaningful experiences, the program turns conventional loyalty program wisdom on its head: rather than driving customer behavior, the game becomes a part of existing and already-memorable moments.
Taco Bell serves more than 40 million customers weekly out of 6,000 restaurants nationwide, and is famous for its casual marketing tone and impressive engagement from a millennial generation that can sometimes feel like a moving target.
By utilizing social media, the company is essentially putting an extensive digital campaign in the hands of its consumers. The rewards aren’t given for specifically brand-driven actions, but rather unrelated experiences that can now be associated with the Taco Bell name.
“As a brand, we wanted to create a unique experience that truly rewarded our fans for living their life and sharing online,” Taco Bell spokesperson representative Matt Prince told Loyalty360. “Rather than requiring consumers to just purchase menu items or interact with the brand to gain rewards, we’re connecting in a more personal way and tapping into an existing social habit to elevate what it means to ‘Live Mas.’”
The Taco Bell brand has made significant strides in embracing its image and connecting with a young audience in recent years, and Taco Bell Explore is the next step in the brand’s impressive customer engagement strategy.
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