Navigating the First Reward Experience

The first time someone receives a Kiip reward is a special moment.

Moments occur around the world and throughout the day when people reach “achievement moments” in apps. Achievement moments are in-app actions, like creating a playlist in a music app, favoriting a recipe in a cooking app or crossing a task off a checklist in a productivity app. Kiip is proud to showcase 500 million moments a month across its network of apps.

To clarify the reward experience for first-timers, we’ve put together a few examples of moments encountered every day. We’re also in the process of creating a short video clip to appear the first time that users receive a reward. (If you’ve already received Kiip rewards, you know the drill, so you’ll be exempt from the videos.)

Mobile Apps

On the bus commuting to work, Sheena sat in her seat fiddling on her phone.

She was playing on her favorite mobile app: a colorful game that jolted her brain awake more than her morning cup of coffee. She was particular absorbed into the game, when the perfect move appeared in front of her. In one swipe, she won.

Yes. Satisfaction.

Feeling accomplished with her success, she was tempted to close the game and check back into reality on the 38L in San Francisco. The interstitials that always appeared between levels (and sometimes between moves) annoyed her. She didn’t want an intrusive ad to crush the glory of winning immediately after the event.

But before she turned off her screen, something caught her eye.

It wasn’t an ad … it was a congratulatory screen from the game. Challenge completed! Here’s a reward for your win.

Sheena felt the corners of her mouth turn into a smile. It was one thing to win a game, but to have the game recognize and reward her for that? Best. App. Ever.

She clicked on the screen and saw a video pop up. The short clip explained the dynamics of rewards. Rewards are extra in-game currency, free samples and discounts from her favorite stores. They appear serendipitously whenever she completes certain tasks in the app. Now that she knew what rewards were, she could choose to accept the reward and keep playing the game without missing a beat.

Instead of turning off her phone, Sheena used the extra coins to continue onto the next level. The chaos of the morning bus surrounded her, but she remained blissfully unaware.



Over in London, Robby was on the home stretch of his evening workout. The fitness app on his Apple Watch alerted him that he was close to his target goal. Only a quarter mile left, his watch beeped. His legs grew numb as he pushed himself the final few strides.

Breathless, he glanced at his smartwatch. Usually, after a run he saw his results scrawled out on the watch. This time, things looked a little different.

On the watch’s screen was a message telling him he won a reward. He’d never seen it before, but he wasn’t complaining; it was a pleasant surprise. Robby clicked the video, which explained how rewards are relevant to apps. Fitness rewards, for instance, include free samples of Propel Fitness Water, Quaker products and so on. Rewards materialize spontaneously during achievement moments. His reward was something he’d earned for his landmark workout.

The best part was that the reward didn’t interfere with his in-app experience. He watched the video, accepted the reward and got back to the app in seconds. If anything, it looked like the app received an upgrade.

Watch 2 copy

Connected Devices

Amadeus walked to his car in downtown Toronto. The sensors from his key alerted his car’s operating system that he was nearby, so the lights flashed and his door unlocked. He sat in the driver’s seat and pressed the “power” button of the car. Everything started like magic: the seat adjusted, the engine revved and the radio blared to his favorite station.

The drive to his midday meeting was smooth, with minimal traffic. He even arrived to his destination early – and when he did, his phone alerted him to a message:

Congrats on getting to your meeting early! Here’s a free coffee from Coffee Bar to celebrate.

Few things could beat the satisfaction of knowing he had a head start in the meeting. But grabbing some free caffeine to ramp up for his presentation – that was definitely one of them.

He watched a short clip explaining what rewards were, and how they were delivered during everyday driving moments: fueling up, reaching certain mileage, starting the car ahead of schedule, etc. Rewards vary to satisfy drivers’ real-time needs with discounts to gas stations and oil changes.

He already loved his car, but getting rewards for the things he already used every day put a new lease on life. These were the moments that made him loyal to brands and apps.

Mojio reward

We’d love to hear about your first reward experience! Reach out to us on Twitter or leave a comment below to let us know what it was like.

Rewards lead to higher engagement among users and better monetization for developers. 84 percent of mobile users say they prefer mobile rewards vs. ads, and over 3,000 games and apps already use Kiip to monetize. Learn more about Kiip at


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  • Dominik Bleilevens

    I like the examples, good work! :)
    Although the users get the explanation of serendipitous rewards, do they have the expectation to get another reward when they keep on playing? I know only every 8th moment is triggered and by this you try to avoid that users have expectations, but I was wondering if users nevertheless hope to get a reward every time they level up.

    Did you make interviews/surveys about this?

    • brittanyfleit

      Hi Dominik,

      Thanks for commenting! We’re still in the process of creating the first reward videos, so we’ll take this feedback and incorporate it into the explanation.

      It can be a fine line between motivating users with rewards, and surprising them with gifts for loyal behavior. If we delivered rewards after every achievement, we would employ a more Pavlovian training upon our users (“if users do X, they get Y”). Instead, we serendipitously deliver rewards when they matter most: at milestone moments. We’d rather users keep using apps because they love them – not because of rewards.

      • Dominik Bleilevens

        I see. I understand the concept and I totally agree with your approach, but I’m still wondering if there are users who connect the rewards with the milestone moment they have and if there is a possbility to minimize this risk.
        But for now I like your business model and concept a lot and the success proves you right. :)

        • brittanyfleit

          Well, we do want users to understand they earned the reward and keep an association with the milestone moment. However, we will be sure to explain in the video that rewards are serendipitous, and won’t occur after every moment. This should minimize any risk!

          Thanks for reading, Dominik!

  • kelly

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