Let’s say we’ve got three apps that all gamify customer loyalty programs. These apps are all basically set up around the same theory: customer loyalty programs aren’t being used regularly because they are typically more hassle than they’re worth. So the apps attempt to make loyalty programs easier to implement, easier to use and more fun for the consumers. But how can one stand out from the others?
This was the problem that Mogl faced just a few years back. How could the San Diego-based loyalty app set itself apart from its fellow (and admittedly bigger) compatriots? The key became focusing on a story that motivated consumers. During many of his “Startup School” talks, Seth Godin has focused heavily on the idea of creating a story with your brand, and changing that story based what consumers find intriguing and compelling. Mogl initially thought their story would be fun. It was piloted as a hassle-free app that would allow consumers to take advantage of loyalty programs without having to tinker with their phones every time they ate out. Unfortunately, this alone wasn’t enough to distinguish the lean startup from the larger loyalty apps like Groupon or Living Social.
That’s when Mogl decided to change their story.
Instead of focusing on rewarding the users with cash back, Mogl began to focus instead on the users ability to donate the rewards to Feeding America, a nationwide program that helps transport crop excess to local food banks. Because a meal at a food bank costs a mere 20 cents, every 20 cents donated through the app equates to a meal donated. Since participating restaurants offer ten percent back to users, the meals began to add up fast, along with Mogl’s consumer appeal.
Sure, Mogl was easier to use than most other loyalty apps, but they had a hard time setting themselves apart from the pack through simplicity alone. Once they had a story that appealed to consumers (an easy, no-hassle way to help feed the hungry) Mogl began to see a rise in popularity. This rise didn’t just extend to their user base either. Now, Mogl has been supported by Virgin’s Richard Branson, Movember CEO Adam Garone, Actor Jerry O’Connell and Xprize CEO Peter Diamandis.
What has Mogl learned in all of this? The power of a startup’s story can have complete control over whether or not the enterprise lives to see the light of day. What have we learned from all of this? Having worked with Mogl to secure fundraising, we’ve gotten a better understanding of why they’ve chosen the path that they have. Whether it’s through executive placement, fundraising, trajectory planning or strategy building, we work with companies that we can be proud of, and that definitely includes Mogl.