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Full case study

MSI's gamification-based loyalty program drives engagement with tiered rewards

Find out how MSI used Open Loyalty services to quickly and seamlessly migrate to a centralized loyalty application in just three months.
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Project summary

MSI, one of the most trusted gaming hardware producers, decided to implement the MSI Rewards Program. Their goal was to stay connected with their end customers, build an engaged community and, in the process, increase the cross- and up-selling of products. In addition, the loyalty program was to operate internationally and require considerable adaptation over time. Keeping these major technical and business requirements in mind, the MSI team chose Open Loyalty as the default loyalty engine for their project.

Key results

  • Successful implementation of a direct-to-customer (D2C) loyalty program that allows direct communication with each customer who has purchased MSI products.
  • Creation of a centralized loyalty application that works in 10 key countries and is based on a single, multi-tenant loyalty system.
  • Quick and smooth migration to the new loyalty engine in just three months.
  • Full ownership of customer data with on-premise deployment.

About MSI

MSI is a world leader in gaming, content creation, and business & productivity solutions with a wide-ranging global presence spanning over 120 countries. The company delivers top-notch laptops, graphics cards, monitors, motherboards, desktops, and peripherals.

By providing the finest product quality, intuitive user interface, and design aesthetics, MSI shapes the future of technology. In addition to its own online store, MSI also markets its hardware through partners, resellers, and resellers.

The challenge: Encourage to repurchase gaming gear through long-term customer relationships

The MSI team wanted to increase cross-selling and up-selling of their products, so they came up with the idea of creating their own loyalty program called the MSI Rewards Program. Of course, from a business standpoint, boosting sales was the main objective, but there were other equally important goals that the MSI team wanted to achieve, such as:

  • Stay in touch with their end customers and lead proactive communication with them.
  • Nurture customers and strengthen relationships to keep them coming back for other product lines and categories.
  • Better understand customer buying behavior and how it differs across markets and customer segments.
  • Foster engagement and build a community of gamers and fans of cutting-edge solutions.
  • Make the marketing technology more cost-effective.

On top of that, to achieve key cross- and up-selling objectives, it was necessary to move the loyalty program from legacy technology to a more flexible and scalable loyalty engine. So, from a technical perspective, the essential criteria for selecting a new loyalty program provider was its ability to:

  1. Create a customized loyalty program based on points, rewards, and referral mechanisms. The delivered solution had to be feature-rich to cover all the current and future needs of the business.
  2. Implement a new version of the loyalty engine in just three months. This was a time-sensitive case and required the full attention of Open Loyalty.
  3. Maintain multitenancy and provide multi-country support on a single Open Loyalty instance. Ensure the customer base is properly segmented between different countries because each location has separate policies, maintenance rules, and access to specialists.
  4. Ensure scalability and ease of future extension of the referral loyalty program.
  5. Deliver an API-based infrastructure for easy vertical and horizontal integration with other systems.
  6. Provide a headless solution because the interface had to be a dedicated front-end application. Loyalty program elements had to be visible in the customer portal, MSI stores, and in the future, all other MSI services.
  7. Provide full data ownership and allow the loyalty system to be hosted on in-house servers.

Clearly, the list was complex, and Open Loyalty had what it took to run and complete this project. It perfectly matched MSI's needs and met the criteria above. So, once Open Loyalty was officially selected as the loyalty program provider, the entire implementation process began.

"We migrated to use Open Loyalty because it provides the business and technical flexibility needed by an enterprise-sized company like ours. With the Open Loyalty integration framework, we could match the loyalty engine with our custom needs."

Karen Shen


The implementation process for MSI's loyalty program

The loyalty program pilot was initially developed as a bespoke solution. After validating the business assumptions of the program, MSI decided to take the loyalty technology to the next level. Since the MSI team was seeking a future-proof loyalty solution, they first conducted an in-deep analysis of the loyalty program’s requirements for today and the future.

Next, the MSI team researched the solutions available on the market. After that, it was time to put Open Loyalty to the test. The MSI team undertook a thorough analysis of the Open Loyalty solution from a business and technical viewpoint. After confirming that all key business cases would be covered and that the API of the new loyalty engine was flexible enough, MSI decided to partner with Open Loyalty.

The Open Loyalty team helped migrate from the legacy loyalty system to the new Open Loyalty engine. Along the way, the loyalty platform was connected to three back-end systems integral to the entire loyalty program:

  1. MSI's Market Management Systems
  2. Business intelligence system
  3. Marketing automation solution

Open Loyalty was integrated into the existing web portal at the front-end level. Also, the loyalty program features were embedded in the official customer portal, so they were ready to be explored by loyalty program members.

The solution: An engaging and gaming-driven loyalty program

The MSI team set out to build a cohesive loyalty marketing strategy for all the company's international branches. They created a gamification-based loyalty solution to attract new customers and nurture existing ones using industry specifics. The result was a marketing campaign that exceeded all expectations, with the MSI Rewards Program at its very core.

First of all, those who want to be part of the MSI Reward Program must create an individual account. Then, as members, they can earn points that can be redeemed for rewards for each qualifying purchase or when interacting with the brand.

The more points a customer earns, the higher the membership level they can unlock. In addition, the MSI team made sure customers were informed about the loyalty program, using every touchpoint possible, such as the main website, customer portal, or physical packaging of products. Customers received a solid, transactional value proposition without unnecessary distractions that could upset non-technical customers.

"The MSI Reward program allowed us to create a direct channel of communication with the end customers. It costs 5-10 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, so maintaining a customer relationship becomes essential. Moreover, with more data, we can run well-targeted marketing communication based on the RFM analysis and detected shopping patterns."

Karen Shen

Now, let's discuss the loyalty program in more detail. For strategic reasons, the program focused specifically on gaming. Let's move on to the "Tiers and Benefits" section. Members can belong to four tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Feel like you're already participating in online gaming? That was the purpose of this division.

A MSI Reward Program table with tiered rewards
MSI Reward Program rules are based on a combination of tiers, points, rewards, and exclusives.

As you can see, these tiers are calculated based on points earned, and of course, the higher the tier, the better rewards are available. As an incentive, every customer who joins the program gets 50 points to start with. This already gives a sense of belonging and satisfaction.

The program's core is based on earning points for registering physical MSI products. As such, there's a self-explanatory product registration guide to help members plan the process of earning and redeeming points.

A table showing product registration points guide
Product registration points guide for the MSI Rewards Program.

The program engages members by promoting and rewarding specific interactions with the brand. Consequently, there are many ways to earn points, such as:

  • Signing up in the official online store
  • Registering a product
  • Writing a review
  • Referring a friend
  • And many more actions
Picture showing different way to earn MSI Reward Program
Ways to earn points in the MSI Rewards Program.

Collecting zero-party data through the loyalty program

MSI can uncover many hidden insights about its customers based on their customer portal activity or rewards choices. Program members can redeem their points in the program portal for merchandise, gift cards, and more. The rewards catalog includes games, vouchers for Steam Wallet, Netflix, Zalando, and Amazon.

Creating a rewards catalog is closely tied to customer choices and preferences. Also, the choice of rewards varies from country to country. By identifying these crucial differences, the MSI team can spot certain patterns and opportunities, and in turn, grow their network of external partners.

MSI Reward Program redemption process
The MSI Reward Program redemption process.

Also, MSI uses a loyalty program to gather information about customer shopping behavior. For example, customers can complete a pre-purchase survey in which they indicate how they seek information about gaming hardware brands or their reasons for choosing a particular brand. After 12 easy questions, customers receive their well-deserved points, and the MSI team collects a powerful piece of knowledge about their audience.

A picture showing MSI reward program pre-purchase survey
MSI Reward Program pre-purchase survey.

Winning new loyal customers

The clever part of the MSI Rewards Program is that points expire at the end of the year. This motivates members to stay active, use their collected points, and return to the program regularly. But that's not enough. Since purchasing gaming gear doesn't happen very often, the referral loyalty program is also used as a channel for acquiring new customers.

Active members of the MSI Rewards Program can earn points for referring a friend. Points are credited right after the friend registers and every time they register MSI hardware in their loyalty account.

A referer your friends dashboard at MSI Rewards Program
Inviting friends to the MSI Rewards Program.

The referral process is very accessible because MSI Rewards Program members can invite friends by sending an email. Then, they can monitor the status of the invitation directly from the customer portal. This transparency increases engagement because members believe in the integrity of the program.

The results

The loyalty program created in three months for MSI has been a huge success. The MSI team can benefit from a fully customizable, scalable, intuitive, and multi-tenant solution. In addition, they can grow with headless and API-driven infrastructure and securely store their data on in-house servers. On the other hand, MSI hardware fans can easily collect and redeem points for amazing rewards. This convenience makes it easy for the MSI Rewards Program to win users' hearts.

According to the MSI team, the Open Loyalty platform is easy to use and flexible enough to integrate with other systems, allowing greater customization to meet business goals. As a result of this positive feedback, Open Loyalty and MSI continue to develop the MSI Rewards Program to increase the brand’s value for end customers and make them stay with MSI gaming hardware as a trusted choice.

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