Porsche Motors is part of The Volkswagen Group, a titan in the automobile industry. Together we embarked on a journey to revamp its Rewards and Loyalty Program. We aimed to transition from a Function Focused Design to a more engaging Human Focused Design. The result? A groundbreaking, gamified loyalty program, launched initially in Austria, with aspirations to reach 90 million customers globally.
Before collaborating with The Octalysis Group, Volkswagen had already initiated the design process for its loyalty program. They had developed screens, buttons, and layouts. However, to ensure longevity and high returns on investment, Volkswagen realized the need to shift from a mere functional design to one that truly resonates with human emotions and motivations.
The Octalysis Group, being a leader in creating Human Focused Design, was the perfect partner for Volkswagen. Octalysis emphasizes that it is not just about ease of use; it’s about creating genuine motivation for users.
AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY’s FIRST GAMIFIED LOYALTY PROGRAM
We solved a key challenge for mobility and car manufacturers: how to get users to interact daily with your brand.
Results: users returned everyday for an average of 5.4 minutes
The Octalysis Strategy Dashboard was employed to align business metrics, user actions, feedback mechanisms, and incentives. The goal was to create a fun, non-linear experience with meaningful social interactions and multiple touchpoints for mobility services.
Through this process, we came to know exactly what our client wanted from the new Reward and Loyalty Program design:
- A fun, non-linear experience
- Room for inclusion of multiple touchpoints for mobility services integration
- Meaning and engaging in social interaction.
Now we were ready to start thinking of features to drive user motivation for the desired actions needed to impact the business outcomes and the final desired end state. This strategy usually covers the whole customer journey – from first getting to know about the program to using it on a regular basis.
The introduction of the “BONEO” app was a game-changer in Volkswagen’s loyalty program. This innovative feature allowed users to embark on a virtual test drive, giving them a taste of the driving experience without leaving their homes. Their digital representation, termed “Carvatar”, became a unique identity within the app. As users navigated the virtual world, they encountered opportunities to upgrade their Carvatars. These upgrades weren’t just cosmetic; they added value to the user’s experience. For instance, better headlights would enhance visibility on the virtual map, and cooler wheels could increase speed. The introduction of lootboxes added another layer of excitement. Dropping frequently but irregularly after drives, these lootboxes contained up to six items. These could be experience points, award points, or items to enhance the Carvatar. The unpredictability of the lootbox contents ensured that users were always eager for the next drop, keeping them engaged and motivated to continue their virtual drives.
Secrets and Lootboxes
While you ‘drive’ you see Map Secrets you can collect, and you get your first lootbox as well. Lootboxes drop frequently but irregularly after drives. They drop up to 6 items: experience points, award points, and cool items to improve your Carvatar.
Getting items to add to your car, like cooler wheels and headlights, are not just cosmetic additions. No, many items make your car more powerful in the experience. You can collect more Secrets and see more on the map. Things you collect (Core Drive 4: Ownership and Possession) also give you strategic advantages (Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity and Feedback). We have gone from getting just a few points, to actually having fun!
Social Engagement and Challenges: Building a Community on Wheels
The revamped loyalty program wasn’t just about individual experiences; it was about building a community. Users could now see other drivers on the virtual map, fostering a sense of camaraderie. This social feature was taken a step further with the introduction of driving styles.
Recognizing users as “Safe”, “Efficient”, or “Dynamic” (with even more intriguing names in German: Straßenhüter, Umweltchampion, Asphalt Cowboy), the app allowed users to form teams based on these styles. These teams could be regional, national, or even international, adding a global dimension to the experience. The monthly “Occupy! Challenge” was another highlight. Users could drive through an area, and if they dominated that region for a week, they would occupy it for a month. Achieving this three times would grant them ownership for an entire year! Such challenges not only encouraged more driving but also fostered healthy competition and collaboration among users.
Rewards and Benefits: Driving with Perks
The essence of any loyalty program lies in its rewards, and Volkswagen’s program was no exception. However, what set it apart was the sheer variety and value of the rewards on offer. By simply driving their car, users could unlock a range of benefits. From practical rewards like free car cleaning to luxurious perks like VIP event tickets, the program catered to a wide range of user preferences.
One of the standout rewards was the opportunity to use an elite Porsche car, a dream for many automobile enthusiasts. And for those who enjoyed a hot coffee during their drives or a cold drink on a sunny day, the program had them covered too. The message was clear: loyalty to Volkswagen wasn’t just about points; it was about enhancing the overall driving experience. With such enticing rewards, users had every reason to stay loyal and engaged with the brand.ble.
Time spent daily in app interaction with brand
Daily Active Users
Worldwide User Base for Volkswagen Group