For about three years now, I've been somewhat meticulous about entering Coca-Cola bottle cap codes into the MyCokeRewards website. It's a fairly pointless endeavor, as, by my calculations, each point is worth only about three cents. Collecting and entering codes is like saving up pennies in a jar. Still, it's easy to do and the points do add up. Eventually.
Recently, the brain trust over at MyCokeRewards revamped the website. In addition to the code entering, there is now a series of social challenges that you have to do in order to earn status. Greater status unlocks better rewards that you can use your points for. The social challenges entail linking your social networking accounts and posting content from MyCokeRewards to it, which essentially turns you into a shill for Coca-Cola. It's no longer enough to simply offer a loyalty program, My Coke Rewards now wants its customers to help them trend on social media.
It's a poor business practice. First off, focusing so much on social media penetration is pointless, as Coca Cola isn't going to get much more brand awareness or attract many new customers via this method. Second, all of the shilling that My Coke Rewards is having their members do consists of re-posting content, thus relegating the tweets and statuses to little more than Internet background noise. Sure, MyCokeRewards may trend, but the content that pushed the trend will be meaningless.
I can't help but think that My Coke Rewards should have thrown a bone to its loyal customer base and elevated everyone who was a member before the status system to the highest status. That hasn't happened, though, and it won't ever happen because it makes no sense from a corporate standpoint. There are millions of people who have a decent amount of points already sunk into the system and, in order to get a chance to redeem those points for some non-lame rewards, those customers are going to shoot for Gold status. So, they'll re-tweet and re-post content like some heroin addict making promises to his dealer in order to score a future hit.
And the worst part about this whole ordeal is that the brain trust over at My Coke Rewards has disabled the ability to send in your codes via text. I hope that's only temporary, as that had been the only way to avoid dealing with the insanity of their website.
Me? I'm out. What was once a recreational use of points has now become too impactful on my lifestyle. Forget the sunk cost. I'm cutting my losses. The only way to win this game is not to play.