When you think of badges you think of the times when you were in Scouts team or when you were important in school by representing the sport house or the school prefect. When you think of social games you probably think of the ones that are a craze on networking sites. Now merge these two together for social-media marketing and you get an entire new concept in marketing making its ground in the business world. At the end of it all, your customers think that it’s a game (good enough to get them addicted to) and they try and better their previous feats and those of their competitors as well. What an in genuine marketing strategy to promote your business with.

Gravity, the discussion site is now letting all of its newly signed in users know that they have got themselves a new batch aptly named, “New Kid on the Block.” They can take it further by putting up a photo for their profile and once that is done they get a badge that is really pictorially beautiful. Now if you are wondering what this is all about then you won’t be surprised at the strategy that HomeRun has adopted. HomeRun offers its customers regular deals, and they have taken a leaf off Groupon who are market leaders.  All they do to entice customers to buy more and get more customers is pretty simple, and we only wonder why this ingenious idea was not thought off earlier. But we do see a huge future in marketing for this brilliant concept, after all its only human to compete and try and outdo the rest.

Now let’s look at what this entire marketing strategy is all about. Loyal customers start earning points that they can rack up and all they have to do is participate in the various deals offered and refer friends as well. They can then utilize a set number of points and redeem it for deals that are “private reserve”   like restaurant reservations, charity ball events and much more. Huffington Post had showed a picture of colorful badges all according to different levels of participation.

The company that started off this concept was Foursquare, and the industry is soon catching up to this new mantra in marketing. Foursquare for all you know might just come up with their own marketing model for the new age market, where people love to mix about work, fun and games. The concept of sponsored badges has soon caught on and the latest marketers to have joined the bandwagon are TV networks Bravo, Zagat, Starbucks and even The History Channel. The Wall Street Journal felt that it was left behind and jumped in too and their latest New York metro section that is in competition with the New York Times aim to win the batter with their badges.  For example readers who view all of the five city boroughs at least once would be entitled to the most deserved badge.

Let’s face it, with social networking taking over our lives; it is only fair that the badges make a fair game of it in business. It also gives customers a good insight as too who these loyal users are.