Future Of Mobile Tagging: Unlockable Rewards

Future Of Mobile Tagging: Unlockable Rewards

In this extract from PSFK's latest report, we describe how mobile tags can be used to create mobile-enabled loyalty programs.

Nate Graham
  • 12 january 2011

Mobile tags allow consumers to become members of a brand’s loyalty program by gathering points to gain rewards. Programs are being developed that give shoppers more reason to scan mobile tags, some of which feature new thinking around play and the tagging process.


  • By enabling people to collect points by scanning mobile tags that can be redeemed at a later date, people are being encouraged to have more brand-led interactions.
  • Making coupons available through mobile tags attached to promotional materials or even retail display windows can help drive customers into stores.
  • Scannable coupons available at the point-of-sale offer an additional incentive to shoppers who are considering a potential purchase.
  • Coupons can be added at the end of marketing or brand messages delivered through mobile tags, giving customers a reason to watch all of the directed content.

Supporting Examples for Unlockable Rewards

App Rewards Shoppers for Scanning Barcodes

CheckPoints is a mobile shopping and marketing application that combines check-ins, barcode scanning and rewards for an all-in-one consumer and brand-friendly platform. The service is designed to encourage shoppers to interact with brand-sponsored products at offline stores by linking barcode scans with reward points. CheckPoint users check in at participating retailers through an iPhone app to view the current advertised products. When scanning these product barcodes, customers accrue points, which can be instantly redeemed in the Rewards Store for gift cards, airline miles and gadgets.

Storefront with Scannable Coupons

Axis Salon in Washington, D.C. created an artfully designed storefront window display with the help of QR Arts that included “bubbles” containing individual QR codes. Upon scanning the codes, passersby were taken to YouTube videos featuring beauty icons or coupons for discount services such as a free scalp massage or 10% off hair products. By encouraging this exploration from outside their shop, the salon provided incentives for curious customers to walk inside and learn more about their services.

Encoded Coupons Delivered Through Email

Email marketing service MailChimp has added a new service called Pyow! that makes it easy for business owners to create QR code coupons and send them out to their subscribers. Customers can either print out the code or save it on their smartphones for redemption at the store. An accompanying mobile application enables retailers to scan the tag at checkout to verify authenticity.

Turning Physical Toys into Digital Characters

In conjunction with the launch of the Xbox Kinect gaming system, Burger King provided limited edition stuffed animals along with their kids meals. After scanning a tag associated with the physical toy, the Kinectimals game uses the Kinect recognition system to translate real-life movements made with the toy animal onto the screen. This allows the player to use the physical toy to interact with other in-game animals.

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