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The World of Badges Heats Up with Basno’s new “Peak” Platform

Launched in April 2011, Basno is a platform that allows organizations to offer digital badges as awards for their users. Clients include Virgin America, LEGO…


Launched in April 2011, Basno is a platform that allows organizations to offer digital badges as awards for their users. Clients include Virgin America, LEGO and the New York City Marathon, which has already awarded 7,503 badges on Basno to those who have been accepted to run the marathon in November of this year.

Based in New York City, Basno launched over two years ago and is the brainchild of entrepreneur co-founders Nicholas Thorne and Henrik Werdelin. Overtime, employees began conceiving their own badge ideas but didn't have a matching organization to develop them. Enter Peak, the newest addition to Basno's recently relaunched website and first venture into its own proprietary content creation platform. As opposed to relying on third party organizations, Peak creates its own original awards -- evolving Basno into a full-fledged badge creator as well as distributor.
Unlike Foursquare badges that award users for achievements such as checking into a bar for the first time, Basno focuses on significant accomplishments that call for this sort of "braggadocios" posting. Peak comes with three different badge ideas: the Peak Marathoner, awarded to the top 20 percent of marathoners worldwide; the Peak Tweeter, for those who can prove they've been retweeted over 250 times; and the Peak Stock Picker, for people who pick a stock that beats the S&P 500 by 500 bps over 7 days.

"At Basno, we believe you should only get a badge for something very worthwhile and noteworthy. If you can prove that you are in the top 20 percent of marathoners in the world, that's a very significant experience, and we set it up so that only people who can prove that achievement will ever gain access to our Peak badge. This way the value of our badges is much higher and much more interesting," explained Harry Whalen, who works on business development at Basno.

To earn a Peak badge, users can apply online at Basno's website. The process requires some sort of proof of the achievement. For example, the Peak Marathoner application calls for a link to the runner's race results and the Peak Tweeter badge requires the applicant's twitter handle. After the results are fact-checked, users will receive an email inviting them to claim their badge, which is then placed in their Basno vault and shareable on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Basno allows its 20,000+ users to interact with others who own similar badges, creating a social network for (over) achievers. Once the badge is claimed, users are brought to a page where they can view other owners of the same badge, comment on the badges and share stories of their experiences. The idea being that this collection of people who share similar experiences and passions can connect and have relevant conversations.


Peak has also added monetary rewards to its perks. "We're working with brands and partners to offer certain value to the badges," explains Whalen. After earning a Peak badge, clients may be awarded with a gift card or store credit to various vendors. A Peak Marathoner, for example, may be interested in $20 to use at Rewarding users for the badges they earn will become easier for Basno, who announced they raised $1 million in funding for their platform earlier last month.

In the future, Whalen foresees everyone owning badges for educational, professional, and recreational accomplishments, serving as a platform to display different collections and meet new people with similar interests. It will definitely be interesting to watch whether digital badges will take over the need for physical medals as time progresses.

In a world with ever-increasing boasting and the growing means to do so, Peak is entering the industry at the ideal time and is making it easier than ever to flaunt our latest accomplishment.

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