SCVNGR Experience at Fajitas & Ritas

Now that I finally have my Android phone, I am taking every possible opportunity to use any app that my Blackberry could not have…aka SCVNGR.  If you are unfamiliar with SCVNGR, you can only use this app on Android and iPhone devices.  You can check in at various locations similar to Foursquare, but there are also “challenges” at the location.  These challenges may include saying something about the location, taking pictures doing certain activities at the location, etc.  At some places, these challenges can lead to rewards.  At Zipcar locations, if you earn a certain number of points, you get a free tote, t-shirt and even driving credit.  So last night when I went to Fajitas & Ritas and saw I was eligible for a reward, I was pretty excited.  The reward: 15% off my check.

My friends and I started to do all of the challenges to earn the 25 points necessary to get the reward.  As you can see below, we took pictures of margaritas, nachos, fajitas, wall art, etc.  We even went as far as making origami out of tin foil to earn points.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When we finished our meal and were ready to get our reward, I showed my phone to the waitress.  She said she had no idea what SCVNGR was.  I referred her to the advertisements at the front of the restaurant, and she told me that she had never heard of it in her 10 years of working at Fajitas & Ritas (I obviously told her that SCVNGR was a new company).  She went over to her manager to see what to do about our check because I insisted that we get our reward since it was advertised at the restaurant and came up on my app.  The manager agreed to take 15% off our check but said they would not do it again.

My friends (who had not known about SCVNGR before last night) were thrilled that we got 15% off, but at the same time we all felt that it was bad that there was a special here that the staff did not know about.  People who are familiar with SCVNGR are going to come in and do the challenges, and if they do not get the reward, they will be pretty angry (as we were when we thought we were not getting the money off the bill).  If this promotion is going to be successful, the staff at the restaurant need to be familiar with it.  Even more so, they simply subtracted the money off our bill instead of plugging the SCVNGR promotion into the system so they will be unable to measure any benefits from using SCVNGR.

It is part of the responsibility of the venues who work with companies like Foursquare and SCVNGR to openly communicate with their employees about these promotions.  SCVNGR is helping attract customers to Fajitas & Ritas, but it is also their responsibility to make sure customers are satisfied when they complete the challenges.  I was lucky enough to get my reward, but will the next person be as lucky?

Pongr: A Dream for Anyone Brand Loyal

If you read my blog, you know one thing about me for sure: I am extremely brand loyal.  I am brand loyal about everything from what I drink to what technology I use (cameras, phones, etc.) to even what shampoo I will use.  So when Pongr, a game that highlights brand loyalty at its best came out, I knew I had to try it out.

The purpose of Pongr is to show how people interact with a brand on a daily basis.  Everywhere you turn, you are surrounded by brands.  Pongr adds a gaming element to it and has players take pictures of themselves and others as they interact with various brands.  You are then “employed” by the particular brand and move up the ranks from intern to CEO.  They recently added more components to the game which definitely make it more challenging and exciting.  In addition to submitting pictures to the website, you must recruit others to “work” for the brand, promote the pictures you take on Facebook and Twitter and create deals that the brand could potentially use.  For example, if you send in a picture to Pongr for Android, you can get 10% off of an accessory (I think I used this when I was trying to become CEO of Android).

Every brand you can think of needs a CEO.  All you have to do is submit pictures through your phone (yes, feature phones work too which was great for me because I did not have a smart phone when Pongr first came out) or even through e-mail.  You simply send your pictures to the brand “@pongr.com.”  For example, when sending pictures to Verizon, you send it to “verizon@pongr.com.”   When sending pictures to Apple, you send it to “apple@pongr.com.”  You can even send pictures as a JPEG and attach it to an e-mail to send them in.  This way of sending pictures made it really fun for me because I could look back at old pictures of myself interacting with different brands and send them in.  It is always fun to look back at old pictures, and this time you are playing a game while doing it!

To celebrate the holidays, they decided to award a few of the newly appointed CEOs.  The first person who became CEO of a Fortune 500 company was given a $500 American Express gift card.  The person who submitted the most creative picture of their favorite pair of shoes would win free shoes.  And my favorite, the first person to become CEO of Android would receive a free Android phone.  After the death of my Droid back in September that resulted in my hatred for Blackberry (thus, the #downwithblackberry hasthtag I have been using in most of my tweets), I was determined to be reunited with Android again.

So every day since the contest was announced, I recruited others to play Pongr, sent in pictures, created deals and promoted the pictures on Twitter.  Part of the excitement of Pongr is that you never know when you will reach the position of CEO.  At the end of December, I was finally promoted to CEO and won my Android, the Droid X (which I just received a few days ago)!  Pongr has not only combined my love for brand loyalty and photography but has given me quite possibly the greatest gift possible: a Droid!

To hear more about my rise to CEO of Verizon, check out this blog post.

I recruited many people during my rise to CEO of Android.  Some of their thoughts are below!

Amy Bishop: “Some of the things I like about Pongr:

  • The ability to display and promote the brands that you support and use everyday
  • The chance to win contests and deals by just sending photos of your daily interaction with brands
  • Before my smartphone, I also loved that I could upload photos just by sending an email on a regular computer.”

Lauren Gray: “I like that you can win real prizes and submit pictures of what you are doing with the product/brand.  It’s also fun to “recruit” people because not many other geo apps have that recruitment aspect.”

Eric Mendes: “Pongr is an innovative startup that allows users to express their love for their favorite companies to the world.  Personally, I love how Pongr allows users to interact with one another and how the site maintains close contact with their users through social networks such as Twitter.  Always feels like a small connected family.”

Kara Robinson: “Pongr allows consumers to directly connect with and promote the brands they use most often.  It is a win-win situation for the brand and the consumer.  And, it’s tons of fun!”

If you have played Pongr and have some thoughts you would like to share, let me know, and I will post them above with the others!  (More are expected to come later today too!)

Check out Pongr on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!