For Facebook the simple answer is that people want to keep in touch with their friends. For Twitter, it is that they want to keep up to date with what is happening. For Ferret Card, it’s because people want to benefit from rewards and specials.
Sometimes though the REAL answer is deeper than that. In order to get people to keep using a particular service, it needs to address a particular emotional need. For Facebook and Twitter, it is more than just keeping in touch. It makes us feel like a part of a community of our friends, even while we’re all busy with our individual lives. It gives us the ability to be a voyeur in the lives of our friends. It gives us a simple and easy way to vent our daily frustrations, spread our happiness or express our sadness. It gives us immediate validation when our friends are able to comment and reply near instantly.
How about Ferret Card? Some of the feelings that are evoked in Ferret Card users:
A sense of community connection: Shopping at a small business run by someone passionate about their business always gives you a much better feeling than shopping at the big, faceless mega-store. Did you ever walk out of a Walmart with a warm and fuzzy feeling for doing so? How about the last time you shopped at a small business, where the owner greeted you with a smile and wished you a good day?
A sense of sharing: By registering their Ferret Card with Facebook, a Ferret Card user can share Silver Stamps with up to 5 of their best friends. If I can give my friends something when I shop, at no cost to me, why wouldn’t I? Even better if the Silver Stamps came from a great little shop I just have to tell my friends about!
A sense of not missing out: If there are rewards, points or stamps to be had, you feel like you are missing out if you don’t collect them. The same feeling drives other loyalty points programs, such as frequent flier programs. Sometimes it’s not even the value of the points or stamps themselves, but the mere fact that they are getting something. The Chinese even have a word for this feeling (in the Hokkien dialect) “kiasu”, which roughly means “fear of losing or losing out”. It is this feeling that drives users to keep using their loyalty programs, or to choose to shop at merchants with better loyalty programs.
And of course… there’s also the rewards and specials to take advantage of!