Endowed Progress EffectOpen Access

Endowed Progress Effect

We reach our goals faster when we have help getting started

Giving customers a helping start to reach the new goals you’ve set out for them will lead to greater brand loyalty over time.

Nunes, J. C., & Drèze, X. (2006). The endowed progress effect: How artificial advancement increases effort. Journal of Consumer Research, 32(4), 504-512.

The study

Setup

Setup

300 customers at a car wash were split into two groups and given one of two different loyalty cards for a free wash upon completion: either one with space for 8 stamps or one for 10 (with 2 spaces pre-stamped).

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Results

Results

Despite both cards requiring the same amount of effort, completion of the non-pre-stamped 8 card over a 9-month period was only 19% whereas the pre-stamped 10-card was 34%.

Study graph
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Nunes, J. C., & Drèze, X. (2006). The endowed progress effect: How artificial advancement increases effort. Journal of Consumer Research, 32(4), 504-512.

Key Takeaways

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1

Get them started. Endow progress with a fraction of points, stars or a brand-specific measure. Make sure you endow enough to motivate use, aiming for between 10-25% of the total effort required for the first reward.  As well as helping with initial effort, make the reward itself substantial and meaningful to assist habit-forming.

Takeaway image
2
2

Never endow at the end. The closer we are to a goal, the more we value our own internal efforts to complete it. Doing so on their behalf will devalue existing effort, perceived reward value and reduce loyalty strength.

Takeaway image
3
3

Make it seamless. In Christmas 2013, 1 in 8 Americans got a Starbucks Gift Card. On redemption they were automatically endowed with progress in the form of loyalty stars, creating 1.5m new loyalty members as a result. How can you seamlessly channel gift customers through to your loyalty scheme?

Takeaway image
4
4
Takeaway image
Takeaway image
np_read_2490885_000000
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In further detail

Takeaway image
Endowed Progress Effect

Endowed Progress Effect

We reach our goals faster when we have help getting started

Giving customers a helping start to reach the new goals you’ve set out for them will lead to greater brand loyalty over time.

The study

Setup

300 customers at a car wash were split into two groups and given one of two different loyalty cards for a free wash upon completion: either one with space for 8 stamps or one for 10 (with 2 spaces pre-stamped).

Results

Despite both cards requiring the same amount of effort, completion of the non-pre-stamped 8 card over a 9-month period was only 19% whereas the pre-stamped 10-card was 34%.

study graph
np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

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