What is Gamification? According to Gabe Zichermann, founder of the consulting agency, Dopamine, whose focus is in gamified campaigns for both employees and consumers, and author of the upcoming book “The Gamification Revolution,” “gamification is the process of using game thinking and game mechanics to solve problems and engage users.”
While both the words “gamification” and “gamify,” although not yet officially an English word in themselves, may have its own same root word to the wordthat is “game,” gamification is not necessarily about games per se. However, to assume so is not totally wrong either.
Gamification, to a more distinct definition, refers to the use of game elements such as making score points, accumulating assets, advancing through levels and levels of difficulty, and seeing one’s progress on a leaderboard, however only in regards to marketing tactics which engage people in your products and your brand.
People likes games. As early in life as a child, we are naturally attributed to games. While there is such a thing as mindless games for both child and adult, there are games engaging enough to appeal to the common individuals. In fact, gaming as an entertainment is a booming business due to its wide fan base – all of us. Young and adult alike, gaming always has a part in everyone of us. However, gamification is not about games, but rather the qualities of “gaming” that makes it an engaging aspect for business.
Gamification, in this sense, is a marketing strategy for business incorporating the use of elements from games which makes it engaging for the common person.
How to Gamify Your Business?
Although there are potentially many ways to “gamify” your business, common methods such as the use of points, privileges, “progress bars,” or a community are only some of them, each of which are used as follows:
1. A Reason to Return for Customers
Creating reasons for your customers to get engaged with your business is the center of gamification. This involves giving the consumers opportunities to generate and build up something they regard with value such as points, privileges, or “superpowers.” This a common element in online games where accumulated points can be used to trade in for something with value to the users, usually a virtual item. This does not just attract customers, it also gives them the reason to return for more benefits.
2. Opportunity to Gain Status
People who feels “cool” or “special” are said to change their behavior in order to enhance these feelings. In similar fashion and in retail setting,customers who have high status may obtain priority service, discount pricing, services as a “private shopper,” or something else that makes them feel privileged. This is gamification through a “feel-good” effect to its users.
3. Goals to Pursue
Gamification is said to be most effective when there’s a clear path to follow. Many websites now incorporate a “progress bar” that grows as the user fills out details on the site or as he / she go through a successful checkout. A good example for this is Starbucks’ rewards program. This also possible in non-electronic means such as the use of promos such as Coca-Cola’s earn caps and exchange for something promo which it traditionally uses.
4. Customers as Part of a Community
People are naturally social and nothing makes it more so than being part of a community and connect with others. This is the reason why social media sites and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) are popular as recent trends. In business, communities make a powerful bond among like-minded consumers and it strengthens people’s engagement on the brand. This is most apparent as a forum.
Although these are only some of the means to gamify a business, others may vary depending on what type of business you’re in. What is more important is, which means as part of business work for your business. The mentioned are the most common gamification techniques employed by most companies for its reason.