This post is part of the live coverage of Echelon 2012, Asia’s leading tech startup event happening on June 11 – 12. If you spot typos, slight inaccuracies or need more clarification, do leave a comment in the post and we’ll address it in the next edit.
At 19, tech prodigy, Brian Wong has already immersed and familiarized himself in the tech starup scene by landing himself a job at Digg. In that same year, Brian became the youngest entrepreneur to raise a round of venture capital for his startup, Kiip.
Kiip is a rewards network that allows iOS and Android game developers to integrate real-world rewards for virtual achievements that players attained during the gameplay. At present, the company has fulfilled around 100,000,0000 monthly moments in the United States and served over 80,000,00 rewards.
Now at 21, this young Canadian entrepreneur is at Echelon 2012 to share with us Kiip’s secret in capturing audience’s emotions in his ‘Ten ways to go beyond” tips.
The ten ways to go beyond
1. Moments instead of touch points
Brian elaborates this by providing the example of how Apple makes use of ‘moments’ to capture its audience with an iPad photo advertisement depicting a couple using an iPad in the middle of Paris.
He cheekily adds on that it was pretty ridiculous if you consider the insanely high data roaming charges that will be incurred.
At Kiip, game achievement is the ‘moment’. The way to do it is not to trick people into giving their emails, information etc. Kiip believes in using natural, well thought of emotion that make people feel happy about using them and appreciate it.
This is why big brands spend milliions of dollars on campaigns that make you feel happy about using them.
Brian explains this using the three-layer play framework:
Action layer: Creating moments
Achievement layer: Acknowledgement and Validity
Rewards layer: Serendipity gifts
He likens smartphones to a human’s ‘6th sense’. Every building is filled with information of what is happening inside a building, how to get to the building, etc. Using a smartphone, we can now check and be updated to these information wherever and whenever. This is a good example of how serendipity can be integrated into mobile discovery apps that by feeding users with information that pleasantly surprises them.
Brian admits that he is a huge advocate for giving rewards without letting users know. What they are doing right now is the exact opposite of how traditional games reward users. Traditionally, game app developers let users know from the start what they have to do in order to get a particular reward.
3. Emotional ROI
Brian gives the example of Path’s expressive emoticons that allows users to respond to friends’ photos. This purely visual experience make users feel like they are popular when in reality they may not be.
4. Acknowledging and Validating
Two good examples of that Brian gave were formspring’s ‘smile’ acknowledgement when someone agrees or support the answer that was given and Quora’s ‘voting’ for answers feature. Both provides acknowledgement and validation for the content contributor.
In the online space, people are not exactly given options to choose form. These choices that are provided are known as ‘perceived choice’ that can fall under the any one of the five categories: Smart customizability, “algorithms” & recommendation, perceived care & personality, social serendipity or perceived effort.
Brian further elaborates on the paradox of choice: if there are too much too choose from, people will suffer from choice paralysis.
6. Gifts and rewards
Kiip believes that customer experience is key. To do this, he uses the concept of O2O (online to offline) in Kiip’s reward system whereby online refers to the achievement layer and offline refers to the rewards layer. What this means is to translate virtual achievements in games into real-world tangible rewards.
7. Humanisation of process
This can take form in the use of a mascot such as Salesforce.com’s ‘Sassy’. If you create a company that people like, your users will most likely forgive you when things go wrong.
9. Build a story
The trick here is to focus on the story, not the product. Kiip uses anecdotes and testimonials from customers to build up its brand. in kiip, can gift a reward.
10. Final message from Brian: To feel or die.
Thanks for following the live coverage of Echelon 2012. If you’d like to check out more coverage of the sessions at Echelon 2012, follow this link.
KiipUnited States of America
Kiip is a rewards network and mobile application that offers rewards from brands and companies for virtual achievements.
Undisclosed Venture Round Investors:
American ExpressDG Incubation