Introducing LevelUp: Check-in, Challenge and Reward All in One Bite-Sized Unit

03/10/11
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level-up [lev´el-uhp] (v.) – To jump from one status to a higher one. To improve an attribute. Often used to describe positive progressions in a game or game-like setting.

Today, we’ve got something great to share with you. (All million plus, of you!)

But first, some history… Our last big move (expanding from enterprise-only to enterprise + consumer) is working out pretty well…

More than 1,000,000 players are playing (up from, well… zero, this time last year), more than 1,500 enterprises are building challenges (including massive brands like Coca-Cola, Buffalo Wild Wings & GameStop), and our backers are… well… backing. $15MM in freshly minted capital sure is a nice way to kick off the New Year.

But as we’ve been building the game layer on top of the world, we’ve noticed something neat happening — the location-based space (LBS) and the local deals space are on a head-on collision course.

When you break it down, it makes a lot of sense. Local deals are great ways for people to try out a new place and LBS has always been about engaging with places we love. Two halves of the same coin.

But so far nothing has been able to do both. Daily deals get a lot of customers in the door but aren’t so great at getting them to come back. LBS rocks the house at getting customers to engage and keep coming back, but is still operating at a small scale compared to, say, Groupon.

So we were banging this 7-gram rock one morning and thought, “Hey, how about we mash them up, throw some game dynamics into the mix and see what happens?”

Hello LevelUp!

LevelUp’s goal is simple (if perhaps a tad ambitious): to bring a better local deal (one with a twist of mobile, social, gaming and location) to the world.

We’re launching LevelUp as a pilot today in Boston and Philadelphia. Because we want to make sure it’s *perfect* before introducing it en-masse to all million of you, we’ve launched it as a stand-alone app and website, so if you want to play with it, head to TheLevelUp.com or search “LevelUp” on iPhone or Android.

So what is it?

LevelUp is a brand new type of local deal… one that gets better as you use it.

Each “LevelUp” has 3 levels: good, better and best. But initially Levels 2 and 3 are locked (think “Angry Birds”).

You can grab the Level 1 deal and visit the business with a great deal (Think 50+% off). As you visit, you’ll “LevelUp” and unlock the next level (an even better deal or more exclusive experience at that business). Think of it like trying out the best new places in town and then getting to go back to the places you love with an even better deal or super exclusive experience.

It’s like getting rewarded for becoming a regular at the places you love in your city. And for businesses, it’s #LoyaltyWinning!

Here are more details:

  • Generally, one LevelUp at an awesome place goes live each day in your city.
  • Level 1 is open for seven days (think of it like “getting into the game”).
  • Levels 2 and 3 are exclusively available to those who’ve grabbed Level 1 (i.e. “leveled-up”).
  • Levels 2 and 3 are available until they expire, so there’s ample time to go back if you like the place.
  • Unlike other services, when you buy a LevelUp you can use it immediately (like real-time baby!) by simply walking into a place and showing them your phone (or printing it out).
  • You can check out LevelUps on a map around you, seeing the better deals you’ve unlocked where you’ve already “leveled-up” in your city. Today, we’re kicking LevelUp off in Boston with a deal from “inspired burrito” haven Boloco and in Philadelphia with a deal from “home to America’s craziest burgers” PYT.

Visit www.TheLevelUp.com or download the free LevelUp app for iPhone and Android to try it out! And let us know what you think!

Psst… heya, local businesses. We didn’t forget about you! Check out our sweet video at http://TheLevelUp.com/Merchants can help you attract a ton of new customers and invite them to “LevelUp” into regulars .

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