Consumer Promotions

The Future of Consumer Reward Promotions: 5 Examples to Inspire

While traditional consumer reward programmes continue to be effective, some of the world’s biggest corporations are leaping ahead, using digital data and reward mechanics that can only be described as inspiringly innovative. These loyalty marketing experts understand that the best rewards strategies come down to a striking balance between both monetary and experiential incentives, and the result is a series of loyalty programs that drive incremental purchase to extreme measures.

Let’s look at Amazon Prime for example. The ecommerce giant’s paid loyalty programme that offers members fast and free shipping, exclusive access to movies and TV shows, and more, has become so popular in the US and UK that the service is rumoured to be launching in Australia soon. This is great news not just for Australians hoping to trade loyalty for rewards, but for Amazon also, which estimates that Amazon Prime customers spend on average $1,500 more with them each year. The idea is simple – charge customers an annual fee that is high enough that it won’t be forgotten about. By putting the cost under the customer’s skin, you can be sure that the next time a customer needs something, Amazon will be the first place that they look.

Amazon Prime is a loyalty program that works, but what other innovative reward strategies are their out there? Here, we take a look at several styles worth paying attention to…


Advergaming is a term used to describe games in which advertising plays a prominent role. There are a number of different types of advergames, but all are designed to promote a company or product. Advergames can be seen both online and off, and while some are subtle – consisting of ads placed on billboards beside a racetrack or a character celebrating a win by tucking into a hamburger – others may ensure the ad is an integral part of the game.

Take KFC’s Snack! In the Face. A not-so-subtle copy of Angry Birds (the most successful mobile phone game in history), Snack! In the Face allows participants to earn points by completing challenges – in this case, by helping popcorn chickens escape from the lair of Dr SnackBot by propelling them into the mouth of Colonel Sanders. Players can then share their scores with friends and earn KFC products as rewards.


The idea is simple and a good one – use an app to drive customers to your store by enticing them with free products when they are in easy reach. That was the motive behind Hungry Jack’s Shake and Win App which allows users to ‘check in’ to a Hungry Jack’s store within a 1km radius, shake your phone, and reveal a prize. The prize could be anything from a free Whopper burger to a free shake, and it comes with a 20 minute expiry. You have until the timer stops to reveal your prize to a staff member and redeem it.

User generated contests / participatory marketing

The idea that consumers aren’t just passive recipients of messaging but active producers and distributors of brand content has been one of the key branding trends of the last decade. In started in 2006 when Frito-Lay decided that its popular Doritos brand would opt to air an advert at the Super Bowl that had not been created by the usual ad agency. Instead it launched its “Crash the Superbowl” contest, asking video-making fans to create and upload their own Doritos ads. The contest has been running ever since, and in 2015, it offered up a prize of a whopping $1 million plus a job with Universal Studios and Super Bowl tickets. The result was thousands of incredible entries, which will keep Frito-Lay well-stocked in excellent adverts for varied campaigns throughout the year.


Beacons are a cost effective way to encourage active engagement and play an important role in advertising. Macy’s, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Target have all signed on to use them, and in the next five years, hundreds of millions of mobile beacon tracking devices will pepper retail shops, restaurants and shopping malls. Let’s say Peter enters Pizza Hut and his smartphone is in his pocket. A beacon device will broadcast radio signals to his phone (or tablet in his bag), notifying him that he has been rewarded for coming to Pizza Hut. His prize? 50% off a Mountain Dew.

Social media

Using new tools to engage customers while promoting products is not a new concept, but some get it more right than others. When Lands’ End Canvas ran their “Pin It to Win It” campaign on Pinterest, it created a new communication channel and opportunity to introduce customers to the brand. Followers were asked to pin their favourite items to Pinterest pinboards for a chance to win Lands’ End gift cards. Lands’ End then promoted the campaign on Facebook and highlighted winning pinboards.

As you can see, the model of traditional loyalty programs – which once consisted of physical cards that offered “buy 4 get your 5th coffee free” – may no longer be enough to capture your customer’s loyalty. To offer the kind of rewards that consumers today expect, it’s essential that you think outside of the box. So what are you waiting for? Get your creative hat on or contact Edge Loyalty to learn more about how we can help.

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Michael Jess

Michael Jess

Commercial Director at Edge Pri
Starting off as one of Edge's Customer Service employees whilst completing his degree at Deakin University many-many moons ago, Michael (or MJ) now leads the sales team. With one finger on the pulse of the many promotions in market and just another flight away from a client meeting, Michael has experienced promotions from every aspect and understands what makes a great promotion, great!