There’s been lots of talk about gamification and it’s contribution to stickiness. When I first heard about Foursquare I really didn’t get very excited. None of my friends were on it and I didn’t really see the appeal of announcing where I was every few minutes. That all changed once I started unlocking and collecting badges – I was hooked!
Having spent much of last summer as the mayor of virtually every establishment within five miles of my house I couldn’t resist listening to Pete Cashmore, founder of Mashable, interview Dennis Crowley, founder of Foursquare, at one of Monday’s keynote sessions at SXSW. During the session called, “Enabling New Experiences and Creating Serendipity Through Checkins,” Crowley spoke about Foursquare’s potential for delighting consumers, local merchants and brands.
Crowley explained that checkins on Foursquare aren’t just valuable in the present tense and are, in fact, more interesting when archived – they provide insight into where you are going and what you are doing. Imagine using the data to give back to people – “Mayorship” as the proverbial carrot to get folks to the gym on a regular basis. For local merchants the checkins fuel the data that enables them to know who their best customers are and provides the opportunity to reach them directly through specials and rewards.
What excited me most about Foursquare’s future was the potential for deeper, more meaningful relationships with brands. Relationships with brands that turn into actual engagement with consumers. A great example is the program running with The History Channel. By following The History Channel on Foursquare, every time I checkin at a venue I am treated to a nugget of history about the location.
Of course, not every brand lends itself as easily to an integration. Crowley mentioned that they were struggling a bit with what to do in the CPG space. Let’s all put our heads together and think through how might you structure a program for brands like Charmin, Lysol or Dove?