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Apparel retailer Journeys awards mobile coupons via LBS game

Apparel retailer Journeys is offering consumers mobile coupons through the location-based game SCVNGR to drive foot traffic to its 800-plus locations nationwide.

Mobile users can earn the coupons as rewards for completing tasks at Journeys locations, such as checking in and writing a message for other players to see. Journeys is the first national brand to use the SCVNGR rewards feature.

“Journeys has an incredible culture of engaging with the teen demographic on their terms,” said Seth Priebatsch, CEO of SCVNGR, Boston. “They’re fun, flexible, creative and really motivated to make Journeys the best retailer for teens to come hang in.

“The concept of using a mobile social game like SCVNGR just made perfect sense,” he said. “It’s analogous to how they put payphones in their stores back in the 1980s to make it a welcoming place for teens.

“SCVNGR is just the high-tech equivalent.”

Journeys, a subsidiary of Genesco, is a teen specialty retail giant, with more than 1,000 stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and most recently Canada.

SCVNGR is available for free in Apple’s App Store and Android Market.

How it works
Mobile users who go to Journeys locations can access the retailer’s SCVNGR pages to find challenges they can complete for a variety of different rewards.

Each challenge requires a different number of points to unlock the end rewards.

For example, users win a mobile coupon for $10 off a $20 dollar purchase by accumulating 35 points worth of Journeys’ challenges.

Here is a screen grab of a Journeys mobile coupon earned through the SCVNGR platform:

The application lets users earn points by completing different tasks at locations.

Checking in to a Journeys location earns one point, and writing a message to accompany a check-in earns two points, for example.

The Journeys promotion also lets users collect points for completing tasks specially created for the retailer.

Here are some examples of Journeys challenges:

• “Pick the shoes you’d break in on your favorite skate board. Rock them & show the camera some attitude”

• “Snap a photograph of the accessory you have to have this school year. It’s a new year and a new you”

• “DC Comics and Converse have joined forces to create a line of hi-top chucks. Name one of the superheros featured on these cool new shoes. They even look good with tights”

Here is a screen grab of a Journeys challenge:

Location-based loyalty programs
Journeys is not the first brand to reward customers who check-in to participating retail locations.

Restaurant chain Chili’s recently announced a Foursquare partnership that awarded mobile coupons to diners who checked in at its restaurants (see story).

And, Pepsi actually launched its own branded location-based application that doled out discounts to users who checked-in and earned points at more than 200,000 restaurants that serve the cola beverage (see story).

While major brands are signing up for location-based promotional initiatives by the dozens, SCVNGR says that the process cannot be conducted haphazardly.

“[A location-based rewards campaign] takes more effort,” Mr. Priebatsch said. “You’ve got to get involved in the creative process, be willing to invite in your community and buy in to what we call ‘the power of fun.’

“Journeys did that all in spades,” he said. “They’re really forward thinkers and they’re going to reap huge benefit from being an early mover on SCVNGR.”

“They got that and so we were delighted to partner with them as our first major retailer to launch rewards on SCVNGR.”

Final Take
Peter Finocchiaro, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York