Across industries, brands are getting into the “gamification” game. By leveraging the human desire for fun, competition, and socialization, adding a game element to an experience can make a difference for B2C and B2B brands. Are you ready to level up?

What does it mean to gamify?

Gamification is being embraced across industries today as a way to drive engagement, increase customer commitment and boost loyalty. By incorporating elements of fun and competition (really, who doesn’t like those) into your marketing strategy, your brand can better connect with its target audience. Consider the success of the Starbucks seasonal Bingo game or McDonald’s Monopoly game.

Offering a small incentive or game can encourage people to take an action they might not have otherwise. For example, many people have purchased a FitBit and enrolled in the brand’s online community drawn in by the ability to challenge friends and see who will earn the most steps in a day.

This relates to event marketing too. At a trade show, a brand might encourage different sales regions or individuals to compete against one another in an on-site gaming experience that sees them interacting with the brand’s product. A real-time leader board could foster healthy competition and encourage repeat business at the brand’s trade show booth.

Why Gamification is Good for Brand Experiences

#1 Data.

Data is king these days. Gamification gives the brand access to a huge amount of information. By incorporating gaming elements into experiences, the brand’s sales, marketing, and product development teams can all gather useful data about potential and current customers. This can be analyzed to drive product decisions, analyze customer needs, segment audience populations, personalize future marketing and more. All while the customer is engaging more often with the brand.

#2 Brand Building.

Bringing a brand to someone’s attention via a game can also help capture new potential leads. Take Target’s animated Holiday Wish app, which allowed kids to create Christmas lists to send to Santa. Over 100,000 wish lists were created along with 9,200 new Target.com accounts. Over six weeks a total 1.7 million items were added to wish lists, for a potential sales total of $92.3 million.

 

#3 Social Amplification

When users are enjoying the experience, they’ll often share that enthusiasm with friends and family. Associating a hashtag with the experience can lead to increased customer awareness and grab the attention of new users via word of mouth.

Gamification can turn customers into influencers when they are sharing something fun, suggesting a cool competition, or pointing out a cool freebie to their friends and other consumers. Giving participants something to tweet, gram or post to Facebook about can also help drive more people to actually seek out your brand’s experience for themselves.

#4 Educate Users

Making a video tutorial or instructions more fun can also lead to greater customer satisfaction. They are more likely to learn how to use the product or service more fully if they have an incentive to participate in the education.

In a B2C example, a marketing company created a gamified “tour” of Singapore for its Tourism Board client. The tour, which ran through attractions with high impact imagery and video, netted more than 5,000 sessions and more than 300 game completions in just two months.

Friendly competition or making an on-site training into more of a game involving people working together to solve a puzzle (industry-related of course) brings a new dimension. Plus, it’s more memorable and will help your brand stand out from the competition.

Game over!

This may sound exciting, and it can be. However, you can’t just make a game of your product or service without careful planning. The gamification should suit the brand value and marketing message to further educate and engage customers and increase brand awareness and loyalty.