Foursquare recently changed the pricing for customized badges from $10,000 to $25,000 per month, ClickZ News has learned. Brands purchasing the badges have to sign up for a minimum of three months.
A Foursquare spokesperson added in an email that "this fee is normally waived when we're working with non-profit organizations, such as the American Red Cross or the New York Public Library."
When then asked how many badges marketers get for the $25,000 and when exactly the price change occurred, the New York-based company wouldn't say.
Tom Rowe, a tourism marketer for Visit Baltimore, said he heard rumblings during March that the price hike was imminent. Rowe said he had interest in testing the badges when they were only $10,000, but now was "priced out" of the idea. For the previously lower rate, Foursquare had been offering five custom badges, he said.
What's the draw of branded badges for marketers? Names such as Starbucks (example above) and The History Channel have employed them in past campaigns. To describe the allure, Rowe said he would use them to drive tourists in Baltimore's popular Inner Harbor district to adjacent neighborhoods.
"For hardcore Foursquare users visiting Baltimore, due to the gaming aspect," he said, "I think it would be good to create, as an example, a 'Tattoo Badge' for the Tattoo Museum. I think we could encourage people to discover some of the other things to do around town."
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014