Gamification – It sounds like a big word, but what does it mean exactly?
Gamification involves taking advantage of people’s innate desire for status and competition by creating a campaign that utilizes game mechanics. Although creating a gamified campaign is a lot more work, it has been shown to increase user engagement, increase ROI, and increase learning in customers. This is because games are naturally fun ways for your customers to engage with your brand.
What Does Gamification Look Like?
On a larger scale, gamification can appear in the forms of mini internet games, smartphone apps, or even mass produced games. Here are some example of companies who have incorporated large scale gamification into their marketing strategy:
Nike+ FuelBand SE
On January 2012, Nike launched their FuelBand application, which allows users to track their activity online simply by wearing the bracelet when exercising. As the user tracks their activities, they can complete new challenges and compare their progress with friends.
The effectiveness of this FuelBand app was quite astounding. Within a year, the Nike+ FuelBand has garnered over 150,000 likes on Facebook and 100,000 followers on Twitter, and their YouTube videos have received more than 2 million views.
Dumb Ways to Die
Since the “Dumb Ways to Die” video was launched on YouTube Nov. 15, 2002, this video has been seen more than 62 million times. On May 2013, the official iPhone app was released and now, it is one of the top downloaded apps for the year.
But All These Sounds So…Expensive!
The examples above are the big-budget, large scale examples of gamification and are far beyond the budgets of smaller businesses. However, applying the same game mechanics, there are many examples of smaller scale “games” that brands have leveraged. Here’s an example:
My Starbucks Rewards
In this campaign, Starbucks took the concept of a loyalty card and made it much more engaging and fun for their customers. Starbucks launched this campaign with the objective of improving the customer experience and in turn, boost sales.
How does the game work? Every time a customer purchases a Starbucks product with the My Starbucks Rewards loyalty card or app, they earn stars. With these stars, they can unlock new levels and more free benefits.
In 2012, users of My Starbucks Rewards saved $4.5 million!
It’s All About Creativity
Gamification does not have to be expensive. In fact, it can be as simple as a progress bar like LinkedIn uses. It can also take in the form of a mini-quiz on Facebook.
In short, the possibilities of gamifiying your campaign are endless. The goal is to create a game concept in which your audience will be addicted to, thereby increasing the campaign’s effectiveness and your ROI. To get you started, here are 26 elements of game mechanics to guide your brainstorming process.
And as always, if your brands needs help with a gamification strategy and execution, we are here to help.