Badges 2.0: Graphene X Loyalty Program
The following article explain the history and mechanics of the Graphene-X's BAGES loyalty program. We are a backer-centric company. This is the why and the how we expect to keep being one.
It’s been a couple of years since the first Graphene-X product became a reality. When we launched in Kickstarter, we had no idea what to expect. We just knew we had a heck of a product and an even stronger vision of what we wanted to achieve, but what was about to happen was something we would have never dreamed of.
Kickstarter is a very special place. It’s a place where being part means something. It’s a place where dreams become real thanks to forward-driven backers that understand the concept of community in a while different level.
99% of the people reading this is familiar with the platform mechanics so I wont focus too much on that, but for the understanding of this loyalty program its paramount to mention a couple of points. In normal circumstances when you have an idea and want to make it happen you have two main roads. The first one involves having the necessary funds on your bank to go and jump the river by yourself. The second one normally involves third parties and raising capital (in exchange for shares of your company) to bring that idea to life.
The problem on this second road is that you’ll necessarily be always reporting in the first place to the people that lent you the money and eventually you’ll need to compromise up to some point your vision in order to align expectations with yours shareholders. We took a different road. A side road.
We were (and remain) absolutely clear on our vision and didn’t want to push that on risk and we didn’t had the bank account to just jump the river. So we went the Kickstarter road. This road meant that we needed to have a product prototype (which we had after over a year of behind the curtains work) and try to transmit our vision and product benefits as clearly as possible to people we had never seen before and will never get to meet personally in most cases.
We had thirty days not only to raise the necessary funds to produce the Alpha Series Jacket but also to prove that the problem we were trying to solve with this jacket was a problem shared by many that correlated into an idea that made sense to bring alive. To our astonishment, that campaign raised more than ten times our minimum funding goal and nearly two thousand backers from over eighty countries trusted us to fund our project.
This allowed us not only to produce the jackets, but also to grow our team and heavily invest in R&D to start working on what was next. This is the “holy sh*t” moment. Something that was very clear on our minds had now the green light to become real and respond to the trust of thousands of backers. Gladly, the whole thing went as smooth as it can get (not going to bore you with the behind the curtains hassles we had to overcome as at the end we managed to resolve all of them - but yes, there’s a bunch of challenges to work on after a campaign is finished).
In a matter of months we had delivered all the jackets and most importantly the feedback was nothing short of spectacular. Graphene-X is really born here.
The reason I explain all of this is for you to understand why we see you, backers, as our angel investors and why we believe you should be treated like royalty. At the end of the day, your expectations rely on receiving great products and having an experience as amazing as possible with the brand. On our side, being able to focus exclusively in our product development and in our backers dramatically improve the chances of achieving our vision. This is the tangible reason of why we define Graphene-X as a backer-centric brand.
On a journey like this, early supporters are essential. They ignite the snowball effect and are the ones running the biggest “risk” as supporting a company on their first project is quite different to supporting a company that has run ten campaigns and has amazing reviews on their previous projects. This is why, we created the Badges Loyalty program (B.L.P).
The BLP focuses on recognising those early backers and in making them special. The first version of the BLP said that the program would only run and apply to the supporters of the first 4 Kickstarter campaigns (if we managed to keep on track that is!) giving an incremental percentage of lifetime discount in our website for those that backed our campaigns. More campaigns = higher category and thus higher discount.
Fast forward 2 years since the first campaign and the Hoodie-X (our fourth KS campaign) has just finished breaking all our records. Almost three thousand backers literally broke the internet with this campaign. One of the biggest reasons for this to happen was the amazing community that has emerged behind Graphene-X and we believe that the program should still keep running and helping us grow the Grapeheneers community. We are far away from having everything figured out so we humbly say, we need you to keep growing.
Nevertheless, we wanted to run this idea with our original campaign backers first. We surveyed them and 90% of them agreed to extend the benefits of the BLP to new backers of the brand. Nevertheless, they expected to be recognised.
BADGES 2.0. LOYALTY PROGRAM
The program is divided into four Tiers. Tier 3, Tier 2, Tier 1 and Angel Backers. Every Tier has lifelong benefits on Graphene-X and you can access to them through different mechanics (some of them still in development). In summary, these are the benefits of each Tier:
You'll be able to upgrade your category through any of the following dynamics (note that you can get higher by combining them).
First dynamic: Every Kickstarter campaign that you back upgrades your status in one Tier. Meaning that if you have backed say two campaigns, then you’ll be on Tier 2 (the first campaign gets you to Tier 3 and the second backed campaign gets you to Tier 2). The maximum level you can reach is Tier 1 (backed three campaigns), with the exception of those that backed our earlier campaigns that can reach the Angel Backer level (backed four campaigns and after the Hoodie-X campaign they have at least 2 campaigns backed).
Second dynamic: Will have to do with the amount spent on our web store. For every USD $1.000 you spend on the store, you upgrade one Tier.
Third dynamic: Missions. We are finishing the set-up of a "missions" dynamic where you'll be able to upgrade your Tier level among other prizes (to upgrade a Tier level on this dynamic will be linked to extremely challenging tasks - e.g.: Photograph Messi rocking his GRAnaREC jacket).
Every year (normally around November) we will be sending your renewed personal lifetime discount code (this needs to change every year to make sure it remains as personal as possible). If you are not sure about your tier level or forgot your code you can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We really hope you are as excited as we are with this updated version of the BLP.