Is ‘World of Warcraft’ A Loyalty Program?

WoW_loyaltyColumn originally featured on MediaPost

What’s the difference between “World of Warcraft” and a loyalty program? Surprisingly little. Blizzard (now Activision Blizzard) has made an empire out of games that don’t end. From “Diablo” to “World of Warcraft,” these are bestselling hits predicated on a simple formula: Make your customer an addict.

There’s a ton of things to learn from this company, including novel tactics of CRM – but for the purposes of this post, we’ll limit ourselves to a look at how a store loyalty program would look if designed by Blizzard.

Diminishing returns: All Blizzard games start off with tremendous quantity of rewards per investment at the outset, but taper off into hours of work for a marginal but significant qualitative gain. So our loyalty program will be layered with bronze, silver, and gold points. At the outset, bronze points accrue quickly and can be redeemed often for small perks. Eventually members can purchase a silver membership using their bronze points, at which point they accrue silver points instead, albeit at a slower rate. These can buy more rewarding perks. Gold membership follows in the same manner as silver. Read more.