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Taco Bell Explore: Game-Focused Loyalty Program

Taco Bell Launches Loyalty Program

A unique game that rewards customers for using the app or simply for “Living Mas” on social media.

Unlike most loyalty programs that reward customers for their spending or restaurant visits, Taco Bell didn’t want to “tell people what to do,” said Tressie Lieberman, Taco Bell vice president of digital innovation and on demand.

Taco Bell Explore rewards guests in two ways: Either by ordering through the app, or by linking their social media networks to the loyalty program, including Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Those who link their social media platforms will then be surprised with puzzle pieces toward rewards as they go about their lives posting on social media.

“They don’t necessarily have to use any specific hashtag,” Lieberman said. Taco Bell Explore’s algorithm will recognize certain words that indicate the guest is “Living Mas,” referring to Taco Bell’s “Live Mas” tagline for living large.

“We knew the app was for people who love the brand most, that active community that is passionate about Taco Bell on social media,” Lieberman said. “This is a game that we believe will drive true loyalty with our community.”

Digital loyalty programs are growing in popularity among restaurant chains, but none have come close to Starbucks Corp., which boasts 20 million My Starbucks Rewards program members globally. Those guests spend an average of about three times more than non-loyalty members.

Gaming is increasingly being used as a feature in mobile apps to boost engagement with young users, in particular.

Starbucks earlier this month launched a game that allows My Starbucks Rewards members the chance to win free Starbucks for life as they collect game pieces.

Taco Bell’s test users have already begun jockeying for position on leader board rankings. “People are creating Reddit threads to talk about the game,” Lieberman said.

Source: National Restaurant News

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Mary Shaw