Customer story

Loyalty Reloaded: How SPAR Switzerland Innovated Customer Engagement through Gamification

SPAR Switzerland tapped into the significant potential of gamification to invigorate their “SPAR Friends” loyalty program. Using this interactive marketing strategy, they aimed not just to momentarily capture the interest of their customers, but to deepen loyalty over the long term. Through the introduction of engaging game mechanisms tailored to promote their offerings, SPAR succeeded in enhancing customer attachment, further cementing the connection between consumers and the SPAR brand.

Who is SPAR?

SPAR, founded in the Netherlands in 1932, is an international retail chain and franchise with approximately 13,000 stores in over 48 countries worldwide, making it one of the world’s largest food retail chains. The chain is celebrated for its exceptional customer relations and the breadth of its product offerings, which include fresh produce, gourmet foods, and daily essentials. Over the decades, SPAR has cultivated a sterling reputation, becoming a top choice for shoppers around the globe who seek a unique and quality-driven retail experience.

Navigating the Loyalty Landscape: SPAR Switzerland’s Challenge for Enhanced Customer Engagement

In the hyper-competitive landscape of the retail sector, cultivating loyal customers has become a primary challenge and an apparent success factor. Customer loyalty is not merely about repeat purchases; it’s about developing brand-customer connections and staying top-of-mind. Loyalty programs have emerged as key instruments in this battle for customer retention. By offering consumers tangible benefits in return for their continued support, retailers aim to improve customer stickiness and increase their lifetime value. However, the challenge lies not just in creating a loyalty program, but in ensuring it gains traction and acceptance among the target audience.

Switzerland’s branch of the global retail giant found itself facing this very challenge. SPAR Switzerland introduced a new loyalty initiative called ‘SPAR Friends’ with the hope of building stronger bonds with their Swiss customers. But, despite the brand’s strong legacy and market presence, the initial rollout of the ‘SPAR Friends’ program did not meet their expectations. While SPAR had launched the program intending to raise awareness and bolster signups to their new loyalty program and simultaneously increase app downloads, they soon realized the road was rockier than anticipated.

This left SPAR at a crossroads, searching for a fresh and innovative way to generate buzz around the ‘SPAR Friends’ program and convince customers to join.

Harnessing the Power of Play: SPAR Switzerland’s Gamified Approach to Customer Loyalty

In an increasingly competitive retail landscape, SPAR Switzerland recognized the potential of gamification as a tool to increase customer engagement and drive brand loyalty. At its core, gamification taps into the fundamental human desire for play, achievement, and reward, making it an ideal strategy for retailers to foster connection and inspire action. For SPAR, who tapped into gamification by introducing an interactive Memory-campaign, it wasn’t just a trial of a novel marketing tactic; it represented a pivot toward a more customer-centric marketing approach.

SPAR saw an opportunity to not only promote their loyalty program but to create memorable, fun experiences for their customers with gamification.

This belief was validated by the overwhelming success of their initial gamification campaign. After the initial success, SPAR integrated gamification into their overarching marketing strategy, using it for significant events like the 33-year anniversary, Easter, and Christmas. Through regular gamified initiatives, and especially by embedding them within their loyalty app, SPAR Switzerland found a consistent means to reignite customer enthusiasm and maintain heightened engagement levels throughout the year. The message was clear: gamification provided SPAR with a dynamic platform to combine entertainment with brand interaction, solidifying their position as a retailer attuned to modern customer desires.

Brame and SPAR Switzerland: Crafting an Engaging Gamified Future

When SPAR Switzerland decided to amplify their customer engagement strategies through gamification, they were in need a partner who not only understood their vision but could also provide tangible results. After working together to create the first campaign for SPAR Friends, Brame emerged as that indispensable ally. Corina Trachsel, head of the online, events & sponsoring department at SPAR Switzerland, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the noticeable increase in app downloads and an ever-growing SPAR Friends community, all attributed to their collaborative efforts with Brame.

SPAR Switzerland’s choice was made due to Brame’s compelling value proposition: an excellent balance of cost and quality, a tool flexible enough to span the entire customer journey, and an efficient campaign-builder that offers different game types to cater to both customer acquisition and loyalty enhancement. Additionally, Brame’s proactive approach to success management, providing invaluable insights and creative inspirations for game creation, played a pivotal role. With the sustained positive outcomes from their partnership, SPAR Switzerland envisions a long-term collaboration with Brame, looking ahead to building more engaging and innovative campaigns that resonate with their customer base.

Through our gamified campaigns with Brame, we were able to generate numerous new app downloads and welcome new SPAR Friends Members to our community. Brame has made a lasting impression on us and we are looking forward to various other campaigns.

Results: Impressive Outcomes through Gamification

Check out the games that SPAR Switzerland released, and the outcomes they achieved!

SPAR Friends Memory

The first campaign for which SPAR Switzerland wanted to use gamification was the interactive Memory game that the retailer used to promote its new loyalty program, “SPAR Friends”. Due to its engaging game mechanics, a prize that awaited players who successfully completed the game, and the diverse channels that were used to promote the game, this campaign was a great success. Especially the average engagement time of almost two minutes proves that customers enjoyed the innovative approach SPAR took in this marketing campaign. Moreover, SPAR achieved its goal of promoting their new loyalty program, and more than 50% of the players signed up for it after completing the game.

33 Years Anniversary

Celebrations were in order when SPAR Switzerland reached the milestone of operating for 33 years in the country already. SPAR Switzerland launched an interactive quiz to offer its customer a fun way to engage with the brand and learn more about its history in Switzerland to celebrate its anniversary. To further incentivize participation, the retailer rewarded 33 lucky winners with a 100CHF voucher.

The campaign once again managed to engage its customers, and its success for SPAR is evident when looking at the overall performance: The interactive quiz resulted in a 64% lead conversion rate and an engagement time of approximately 106s per player.

The Advent Calendar

Of course, SPAR Switzerland wanted to use the ultimate busy season for retailers, the Christmas season, to ensure customers stayed loyal and visited the retailer more often during this important season. Launching an interactive Advent Calendar was a no-brainer. Even though gamification was successful in the past, SPAR Switzerland was beyond belief when they analyzed the campaign’s performance: Over the 24 days of the calendar being live, more than 150,000 visits were recorded, and these visitors left a total of more than 86’000 leads. Moreover, this campaign provided the perfect opportunity to include SPAR’s most trusted partners. By sponsoring the day’s prize, these partners could gain additional brand awareness, while SPAR could gift its loyal customers a different prize each day – a true win-win situation.

The Easter Dropper

To leverage another seasonal key event in the retail sector, Easter, SPAR Switzerland made use of a newly released and especially engaging game type – the dropper game. In this intuitive game, players must collect items falling from the top and simultaneously avoid certain objects that are not meant to be caught. To fit the Easter theme and align the campaign with the SPAR brand, the retailer designed the entire game according to its corporate look and introduced “Jori”, the SPAR mascot, to the game. The game was promoted offline at the POS as well as online, thereby maximizing its reach. The results once again were outstanding – more than 4,000 visitors in only four weeks and an average engagement time of almost a whole minute per user speak for themselves.


Lessons Learned

One of the key insights SPAR Switzerland made throughout their journey of using gamification was the importance of frequency. The repeated introduction of gamified campaigns has a snowball effect; as customers grow accustomed to the interactive engagements, their anticipation builds for any following games, consistently boosting participation rates with each new launch.

Making use of diverse promotional channels simultaneously also emerged as a winning strategy. Given the diverse consumer base retailers cater to – spanning varied age brackets, lifestyles, and preferences – casting a wide promotional net across multiple mediums ensures that every target group can engage via their favored channels. Moreover, combining offline and online promotion also aligns with the ever-more necessary omnichannel approach.

Another noteworthy takeaway SPAR Switzerland made is the possibility of leveraging collaborative partnerships in gamified campaigns. Including partners, either through sponsored prizes or by including their logos or products in gamified campaigns in exchange for a small fee, strengthens the retailer’s bond with these partners, offers SPAR an additional stream of income and simultaneously provides players with a variation of different prizes. Furthermore, SPAR Switzerland identified a golden opportunity in driving in-store footfall. By awarding instant prizes redeemable exclusively in physical stores and ensuring they fall under the complementary goods often purchased together with other additional products, SPAR Switzerland cleverly improved customer visits and the average purchase size, achieving a two-fold success.

The Future Awaits

Having seen positive results from their initial gamification campaigns supporting the “SPAR Friends” loyalty program, SPAR Switzerland has clear plans to continue using gamification marketing to uphold loyalty and offer customers engaging ways to interact with the SPAR brand. SPAR Switzerland has identified the innovative solution’s benefits and is keen to keep building on gamification’s initial success. Be it for their popular summer campaigns, the comeback of the annual advent calendar, or the possibility to put the spotlight on their sponsoring of several sports and entertainment events, with the help of gamification SPAR Switzerland aims to provide both regular and potential customers an engaging way to interact with the brand.

SPAR Switzerland also acknowledges the importance of variety. They understand that to maintain interest and enthusiasm, keeping things fresh is crucial. That’s why they are looking into different game types for future campaigns. The idea is simple: offer a diverse range of captivating gaming experiences to ensure customers always find something new and, in doing so, foster ongoing loyalty and engagement.

Get a Free Demo of Brame Gamification Marketing Platform

Schedule a live demo with one of our product specialists at your convenience.

We can learn about your requirements, answer questions, and review ways Brame can help your organization to achieve your goals and engage with your audience.

Please submit your information below and we will be in touch shortly to set up a live demo.

Request a Demo
Get a Free Demo of Brame Gamification Marketing Platform

Schedule a live demo with one of our product specialists at your convenience.

We can learn about your requirements, answer questions, and review ways Brame can help your organization to achieve your goals and engage with your audience.

Please submit your information below and we will be in touch shortly to set up a live demo. 

Request a Demo