Gamification can drive people, organizations and even societies to achieve goals. Ordinary life already has many examples of how gamification drives people. The game of competing for the highest net worth or visible expressions of wealth drives many to pursue wealth far beyond what’s required for a comfortable life. In a different space, the game of competing for the best citation score drives some researchers to pursue specific publishing strategies.
At a very basic level, most of us use some type of score to track how we’re doing. Think about some of the subtle and not-so-subtle motivations that play a role in life -whether it’s citations, salaries, mile run times, or-for a much smaller group-number of Olympic medals. Creating experiences that embody rewarding “gamification” elements like these can dramatically influence behavior; and, research suggests the enjoyment and memory of experiences persists much beyond the purchase of a product.
The promise of creating gamified experience for brands is not around simply adding points and badges. There’s much thinking that we and others are doing on how to move gamification towards a genuinely rewarding, valuable experience built around core human behaviors-while avoiding as much as possible the temptation to simply add gimmicks.
Built well, these experiences can and will provide dramatic benefits to consumers and brands. A good early example of this thinking is embodied in the highly successful area of airline and hotel loyalty programs–and more recently, frequent buyer/shopper programs. There are newer, evolving programs around enterprise gamification from companies like Badgeville, Bunchball and RedCritter that are looking to smart gamification to improve employee productivity. Look for additional approaches to gamification across the spectrum, from employee wellness to customer service, CRM and loyalty.
The following are some early stage examples that we’ve executed successfully specifically around marketing (see linked presentation below from Gsummit.com):
- Transforming the traditional test drive press release into an engaging Ford Fusion mobile test drive app.
- Generating casino resort sales and consideration by providing a new layer of financial and non-financial incentives for sharing and discussion around Caesars / Harrah’s Atlantic City properties.
- Educating people about changes to bank transfer procedures with a shocking (literally) teller deprogramming feature by Kiwibank.
- Joining with consumers to discover food pairings for Tabasco.
- Making it fun to learn about such topics as solar power (SunPower), anklyosing spondylitis (Pfizer), CPUs (Intel) and social influence (Ogilvy).
These are just the beginning steps. There’s deeper games and gamification work on the way that’ll transform some of the duller relationships between brands and consumers.