How to Use SCVNGR to Grow Your Business

By Mikal E. Belicove|For|November 9, 2010

Seth Priebatsch, founder, CEO and “chief ninja” of SCVNGR, Inc., describes SCVNGR as a game about “going places, completing challenges and earning points.” In SCVNGR, players complete challenges to earn points that ultimately enable them to unlock and redeem rewards at businesses like yours.

Think discounted coffee, a free month’s worth of SaaS, half-off on conference registration fees, a free night’s stay at your bed & breakfast, or just about any other type of discount or reward that you — a participating business — can imagine and are willing to offer.

With SCVNGR downloaded and installed on their iPhone or other smart device, players pick a location-based challenge that you create and pay SCVNGR to power, and they work toward completing it.

Based on what you determine ahead of time, players might get one point for checking in to your business and another point or two for taking and publishing a photo of your storefront. Solving a trivia question about your business earns them another point. For five more points, they can complete a company-sponsored survey or download a whitepaper. As soon as a player accumulates enough points, the promised reward is unlocked and available. Priebatsch calls this exercise, “building a game layer on top of the world,” and he describes it as giving people an experience outside of their normal lives. He’s drawing people away from their computers and Xboxes and transitioning the game to the streets. In the process, he’s driving traffic to businesses online and off. This is the sort of game that really hooks players.

As Priebatsch says, SCVNGR is a gigantic experiment in building a mobile game together. And, he’s right to think that it will only work if you, the business owner, build it alongside him and the players of the game. (Yes, SCVNGR players can build challenges centered around your business, but ultimately you decide whether those challenges are actually offered or not.)

To make all this happen, SCVNGR, Inc., — which is backed by a $4 million Google Ventures investment — designed a powerful online platform that’s easy for businesses to use. Anyone who runs a local store, a restaurant, user conference, or any other business or enterprise, can use SCVNGR to build and promote challenges (quick fun things to do at places), rewards (free things players can unlock by doing things at places), and treks (themed sets of  places). Here’s how it works…

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