Gamification is the use of gaming concepts and strategies to entice user engagement. Gaming mechanics are used in a variety of non-game settings, most prominently in learning, however advertisers are increasingly using gamfication strategies to grow an organization’s brand reach.
About two-thirds of the US population regularly plays video games on a mobile device or console, according to Nielsen.
Many people immediately think of marketing gamification as some type of loyalty program. But simply having this in place is not the silver bullet that will automatically solve all your challenges and concerns.
Even with loyalty programs (something that Gabe Zichermann sometimes even refer to as part of the definition of gamification), there are a few ways to do it right, and thousands of ways to do it badly.
In reality, there are vast creative possibilities involved in marketing gamification.
Marketing Gamification Example #1: Nike+ Fuelband and Accessories
Nike launched this application in January 2012. And since then it has developed into a popular gamified sport. The company extended themselves beyond their comfort zone as a well known product brand one that actively fosters lifestyle changes by helping their customer keep themselves fit.
The most popular accessory so far is the Nike+ Fuelband, which is bracelet with a special technology that can monitor user movements. Participants must download the Nike+ App. From this point, they can track their workouts. Statistics (like the number of calories burned) are displayed to provide feedback.
Integrating Social Drives
The smart game designers of this product also included a social dimension to this game which has undoubtedly helped to expand awareness and demand for the Nikes Fuelband.
Participants have the opportunity to challenge friends and this provides a great incentive to use this application. In turn, it perpetuates greater level of momentum in user engagement.
As the points are accumulated based on the distance traveled, the community is aware of who is ranked at the top of the leaderboard. These will be the individuals who trained more, and earned a highly developed physique.
This is a very clever way to forge an association between a fit, slender body to Nike’s brand.
Results of the Nike+ Fuelband
By the end of 2013 we saw 11 million Nike Fuelband players.
Gamified Marketing Conclusion
The use of gamified techniques is a powerful strategy for companies to support the sale of their products.
The above examples not only illustrate innovative game design, but also the end results of happily engaged users who, in many cases were thrilled to share their experiences with their friends and family.
Care must be taken in applying gamification to one’s own brand. Companies need to be aware that gamification is not a panacea. The experience must be planned carefully. The overall design requires specialized expertise that often relies on models.
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