Thursday, November 15, 2012

Business as usual at The Level Up offices

On Monday morning, I had the opportunity to swing by The Level Up offices to chat with Christian Sann, the Director of Level Up in Boston. He took me on a tour of their new and improved office space at 1 Congress Street and then we sat for a bit while I picked his brain about what makes The Level Up so special.
Originally a spin off from scvngr (scavenger), an initiative built to drive business and give out deals all while creating a sense of local community, The Level Up was born on the other side of the river, like many tech start ups. 
Now, about two years later, they are a quickly growing business and the great team, company goals and future visions attest to this success.

So what is The Level Up exactly? Well, it is a type of rewards program designed to benefit both business owners as well as the customers. Different from most of the other savings and rewards programs like Living Social or Groupon, The Level Up thrives on the concepts of community and loyalty, rewarding you, as a customer, for your returning loyalty at your favorite spots. Business get a kick from returning customers and the fact that The Level Up does not charge a processing fee for each transaction (like credit card companies) is hugely attractive.

Here is how it works: you sign up for The Level Up and get your own QR code (one of those funny looking square things) to use either through a smartphone app or, in the event you do not have a smartphone (like me!), they will send you a personal QR code card., this is then attached to whichever credit card or debit card you choose.  
When you pay at a store that takes Level Up, you simply align your phone to the docket by the register, and ba-da-bing! Your transaction goes straight to your card.
Apart from the convenience of paying with your phone, the very best part is that the first time you use The Level Up at a store, a small gift will be waiting for you in the form of store credit.  This gets automatically taken off of your total. The more you frequent that same store, the closer you get to unlocking even more credit.
Credit can also be found through their referral program, which gives both you as a Level Up user and whoever uses your code, 5 dollars of 'global' credit (which you can use anywhere that takes Level Up)!

 When I first found out about The Level Up about a year and a half ago, they were just starting out, now you can  find The Level Up in many places in and around Boston, and indeed all over the US, your Level Up code has effectively given you added access to places all over the country:)

While chatting with Christian in their fantastic kitchen space (where, just fyi, workers get catered lunch everyday...oh, and most workers wizz around the office on about efficiency:) ), I asked him what the future looked like for the company.  He said that apart from maintaining the products integrity and continuing to make the whole process as convenient for all parties, he believes the Level Up can become even more than just a way of paying.  For example, they have already managed to create a donation feature to The Level Up where you can decide to donate your credit to a charity of your choice.  This new feature can be found on the app and I sincerely suggest you try it out. The app also provides a list of places that take Level Up in proximity to your location at any given time.  
All of this feeds off of their local mantra and certainly helps when you are looking for a mid-afternoon treat in an unknown area of Boston:)
Whatever The Level Up plans for the future, I bet they will continue along the lines of community based support, loyalty and..just plain old fun:)
Sign up now and start saving:)

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