Gamification is more than just a buzzword. For marketers, it’s a tried-and-true tactic that triggers human emotions and uses feelings of happiness and excitement to encourage consumer spending.
The idea is that by adding gaming elements (like small challenges and rewards) to the sales process, you can increase customer loyalty. As in every game or competition, the participants have to be motivated by a valuable reward. The greater the reward, the more you can ask people to do to earn the reward.
It’s fun, it’s interactive and it can bring a brand to life by giving it a personality. Here are some brands that are taking gamification on board:
Nike has been a leader in the gamification space for years, having released its first Nike+iPod Sports Kit more than a decade ago. Today, the company’s Nike+ Run Club app keeps runners motivated through progress tracking, personalized coaching, and custom playlists. But it’s the gamification features that have many runners coming back for more. The Nike+ Run Club app offers a way for users to compare and compete against friends when they hashtag their miles against specific goals or challenges. Encouraging users to show off to their friends via social media has helped Nike create an army of brand advocates, effectively keeping the company top of mind among the consumer demographic that’s most likely to purchase its products.
Starbucks enhanced its own mobile rewards program in 2017 with a new gaming feature. The Bonus Star Bingo feature prompted customers to fill out a bingo card by using Starbucks’ own mobile app to pay for purchases during certain times of the day or for certain items. Customers who filled out their cards were granted extra “stars,” which could be used for free drinks and pastries. Starbucks promoted the game with a standalone website and a paid social media campaign that made use of the #BonusStarBingo hashtag.
The US Army Game has been designed by the US Army and is now their number 1 recruitment tool. It’s a multi-player, tactical, first-person shooter game. The game puts the players in a range of military combat scenarios around the world that test their ability to be a good soldier, making it a great candidate assessment and recruitment tool. Simulation games like this which mimic what it’s really like on the job can be great recruitment tools.
This platform gamifies the creative process. Anyone can submit an idea (ideally a good idea) to the site in 140 characters or less. The site community made up of creative professionals and brands vote on ideas and the financial sponsor selects ideas from the pool of great ideas and funds the creation of the project. If your idea gets selected to be made into a video (usually an ad) you make $250 to $1,000 and if the video is selected to be launched the person behind the idea gets a 5% bonus. Video makers can earn $1,000 to $25,000. This kind of idea submission and democratic selection process has the potential to foster creativity within any modern workplace
Lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret has a separate brand geared for their younger audience called PINK. Perfect for the millennial crowd, their PINK Nation app merges the classic ecommerce experience with fun games and contests. Users of the app get an initial offer just for downloading the app, then they can quick play games where they find items for a chance to win prizes (including trips), download stickers to use in other mobile applications, and create unique looks with the merchandise and then vote on the best ones. Plus, they can make purchases anytime, anywhere.
What can your retail business learn from the PINK Nation app? If a major percentage of your target demographic are young, tech-savvy customers, then consider developing a custom app with games, prizes, rewards, and special promotions to get them more engaged with the brand and to drive more sales.