What is Gamification?

It is a common misconception to think that Gamification is simply another part of gaming, and has little to do with how brands can interact with their consumers. This could not be further from the truth. It is actually “the application of typical elements of game playing (such as point scoring and competition) to other areas of activity”. In other words, it is taking ordinary activities, such as as shopping, browsing the web, or interacting with a brand, and adding the engaging, addictive, entertaining and relaxing elements that make gaming so much fun.

If we think about it, what better a way to engage with your consumers? Applying Gamification to your loyalty platform adds a new, fun and unique edge to your brand that will make your users come back time and time again, because they have fun with you. And although this might seem irrelevant and juvenile to some, it is anything but: according to Digital Chalk, 61% of surveyed CEOs, CFOs and other senior executives say they take daily game breaks at work, in order to feel more productive.

Interacting on this kind of level with your users removes the “sales-y” feeling that so often causes users to leave running, and turns you not only something they enjoy, but something they need to relax and disconnect from their busy hectic lives. What better way to gain their loyalty?

 

Tips to applying Gamification to your loyalty platform

  •    Keep it social. We are social beings, there is no denying that. Users like to share information, activities and news with their friends and followers, so make it as easy as possible for them. Whenever they move on to a new level, got a high score in one of your quizzes, or just exchanged their points for an awesome reward, give them plenty of options to share it with their community. Not only will they enjoy being able to do it, it is an great source of User Generated Content that will be promoting your brand and platform to everyone they are connected to.
  •    Recognition is important. People like to be recognized and complimented and rewarded when they do something right, and this is no exception. Take every opportunity to show your users you recognize how great they are by creating different levels, showing score boards with your most engaged users and congratulating them for reaching certain milestones. It will make your users feel good about themselves and create a very positive feeling, as well as an add a touch of competition that will keep them going.
  •    Give them clear goals. Let your users know what they are working (or rather playing) towards. If they need to reach a certain number of points to move from Level 1 to Level 2, be sure they know what that number is and how close they are to achieving it. If the goal is reach X points before that can take part in a giveaway, let them know!
  •    Don’t make it too easy, but not too hard either. This can be a tricky aspect to great right sometimes. You want to offer your users a challenge to keep them entertained and motivated, but you don’t want to make it impossible for them either, or they will end up feeling frustrated, giving up and not coming back. When creating your quizzes and games, be sure to find a balance that will keep it engaging but possible to solve, and ask around for a few opinions before launching it to your users.
  •    Surprise them! Keep users on their toes and expectant by surprising and delighting them from time to time with a random free gift or reward. Whether its 100 points or a free mug with your logo on it, everyone likes to receive a surprise, and it will keep them coming back in hopes for more.
  •    Let the experience become the reward. Users will be looking forward and excited to exchange their points in for some of your great prizes for sure, but make it about even more than that. Make the experience itself of engaging in your platform and spending time with you so rewarding, that it becomes like one of the rewards itself.

Epic examples of Gamification

Magnum Pleasure Hunt

Magnum’s hunt for pleasure all across the internet was a huge success, encouraging users to collect chocolate bonbons across countless brands’ websites, ending in Magnum’s newest ice cream, the Magnum Temptation. Users could keep track of the points they got, challenge their friends to beat them and share their results all over social media. It resulted in becoming the most tweeted URL in the world on the day of its launch, and generated 6 million site visits in just 7 months.

 

M&Ms Eye-Spy Pretzel Game

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So simple, and yet so incredibly effective. All M&Ms had to do, was post one image full of different colored M&Ms, and challenge users to find the one pretzel lost among them, promoting their pretzel filled M&Ms. The challenge took off like wildfire, generating over 26.000 likes on the brand’s Facebook, over 11.000 user comments and 6.000 shares. The idea incredibly simple, and yet equally visual, shareable and engaging, making it the perfect material to go viral. What’s stopping you from doing the same?

(P.S.: It took us quite a while to find him, too!)

 

Nike+ Fuel

This extremely popular, world famous brand definitely outdid themselves with their Nike+ platform, engaging users from all over the world. Nike+ is Nike’s app, to essentially turn exercise, and more specifically running, into a game. By connecting your fitbit to the app, taking your smartphone with you or simply manually entering your exercise data, users receive points in exchange for running and can track their distance, speed and other data related to their workout. The app allows them to easily share their scores, competing amongst each other, striving to beat records and working up levels. The app also gives them tips on how to improve, music suggestions and congratulates and encourages them to keep going. Running has never been so fun!

They even launched a sister app called “Zombies, Run”, where users’ actually running scores get translated into their characters running to escape from Zombies in the app, and saving humanity along the way. “Run in the real world, become a hero in another.”

Is any one else already lacing up their Nike running shoes?

 

That’s all for today, but stay tuned to our blog and subscribe for more loyalty tips to boost your brand! Or if you really want to take your loyalty to another level, schedule a call with us using this link!

 

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Kelly Rogan
CMO Social&Loyal
Kelly is our VP of Business Development and a loyalty and customer retention expert having worked with large brands all over the globe to grow true brand loyalty. She’s written for media outlets such as Forbes, Inc and Startup Grind on topics related to digital marketing and brand loyalty. She is passionate about combining behavioural psychology and technology to boost results.
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