Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bing Rewards, Part II

Last week's installment left off with me downloading the Bing Rewards toolbar and mentally resolving to get out of the "Google" mindset. The toolbar is a little crowded, and the icons move around and change colors when I mouse over them in a distracting way, but it's not too bad. Check it out below:

Just for downloading the toolbar, Bing gives me 250 points. This is exciting - until I realize that I only get one point for every two searches, and I'm limited to earning 20 "search points" a day. At least I have the special offers to increase my points? Maybe I should take a look at how many points I actually need to win something.

According to Bing's site, it takes 3,197 Bing points to win a DVD. So if I'm earning 20 search points and around 30 "special offer" points a day, it's going to take...almost 2 months to earn a DVD on Bing. Interesting. My boss suggests that I look at other rewards programs to see how this stacks up, so I take a look at Coca Cola Rewards. With Coke Rewards, you get points for every Coke product you buy (3 for an individual bottle or can, more for a 12 or 24 pack of sodas). You have to log online and enter the code under the bottlecap to register your points. A quick comparison of similar prizes shows the following:

This is interesting for a couple of reasons. In the first place, it is impossible to win something on Bing that you would actually want or wouldn't be able to easily procure for yourself. Bing prizes tend to be T-shirts, gift cards, small electronics and even charitable donations. And while Coca Cola does offer those products, you can also enter for a chance to win huge prizes like a $10,000 Football Party and a new wardrobe worth $5000. Also, it looks like Coca Cola values its customers a lot more - a movie ticket on Coke Rewards costs a third the price of its Bing counterpart.

But the most interesting part of this excercise in rewards comparison is the simple realization that I started with: using Bing requires a pretty significant change in behavior. So signifcant, that until recently I caught myself using Google search to find information about Bing Rewards (my bad). On the other hand, Coke is an extremely popular brand with products that many people already use on a daily basis.

To summarize: With Coke Rewards, consumers are getting points for doing something (buying Coke products) that they already do. With Bing, winning points is tied to a large behavior change. And the problem is, the rewards on Bing are much less valuable and more difficult to earn compared to something like Coke. This makes me wonder how successful the program is going to be....stay tuned to find out!

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