Gamification reaches the next level
Through a special arrangement, what follows is a summary of an article from COLLOQUY, provider of loyalty-marketing publishing, education and research since 1990.
For some brands, gamification has emerged as a productive tactic in an era when keeping customers engaged has become increasingly difficult. Though the approach has been in practice for years, the new wave of brand-based gaming builds on learnings from previous campaigns.
Recent launches by major brands demonstrate increased sophistication, investment and commitment to engaging consumers:
- Under Armour put participants in the shoes of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for a multi-level obstacle course run through a forest.
- Gatorade partnered with tennis star Serena Williams to give players a chance to win a Grand Slam singles title.
- Warby Parker created a “physics-based matching game” tied to the launch of limited-edition frames.
Social media continues to drive gamification — indeed, “social gamification” could be said to be its own category. The redesign of Snapchat’s Discover channel earlier this year demonstrated how attuned to gamification these platforms have become. Social media’s adaptability to mobile technology further contributes to its widespread use by consumers.
Dallas-based startup CataBoom’s proprietary product offers the ability to create online reward campaigns in as little as seven minutes. “We’ve automated the process, right down to the legal agreements,” said CEO Todd McGee. “With more than 60 different games available, we’re able to provide the instant gratification through rewards that really speaks to consumers, particularly Millennials.”
Regardless of the size of the brand, gamification provides benefits such as:
- Repeat visits: If it’s a positive experience, consumers will return to play and engage with the brand again.
- Unique experiences: Brands can differentiate themselves by creating distinct experiences, which is especially appealing to Millennials, who prefer nontraditional approaches.
- Direct connections: Gamification helps establish the one-to-one customer relationship that extends beyond a purchase and becomes more integrated with consumer lifestyles.
For brands considering gamification, what are the key elements?
- Know what motivates your target audiences and design the game’s prizes and rewards accordingly. Strategically structure the program to continually entice consumers with prizes they value.
- Leverage the breadth, depth and accessibility of social media. Consumers are already there — it’s up to the brand to make the most of the platform.
- To gain customer engagement, it simply has to be a good, fun game. Strike the right balance between challenging and gratifying to encourage repeat visits.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are we still in the early innings in exploring how far gamification can engage and motivate consumers? What tips would you have for those attempting gamification for the first time?