Gamification has emerged as a powerful tool for businesses to engage customers and build brand loyalty. The concept of gamification involves incorporating game-like elements and mechanics into non-game contexts, such as marketing campaigns. 

Gaming entrepreneurs who shake up the industry did so by tapping into that intrinsic human desire for competition, achievement, and fun. With the right mindset, gamification strategies can motivate customers to take actions that support business objectives. Now, we’ll teach you the fundamentals of gamifying your existing business plans.

The Benefits of Gamification

Before we talk strategy, it’s important to establish why gamification is worth the effort.

Fun Factor

This is a simple truth Turning things into a game makes it so much more exciting for the customer.  When done correctly, gamification can turn an otherwise mundane or routine task into a fun and rewarding experience. 

For example, a company might create a gamified loyalty program where customers earn points or badges for completing certain actions, such as making purchases or sharing social media posts. 

By giving customers a clear goal to work towards, and rewarding them for their efforts, businesses can increase engagement and build a stronger connection with their customers.

Social Proof

Another way businesses can use gamification in marketing is by leveraging the power of social proof. Social proof is the psychological phenomenon where people are more likely to take an action if they see others doing it. 

By creating gamified challenges or contests that encourage customers to share their achievements on social media, they generate buzz around their brand. For example, a company might create a gamified challenge where customers are encouraged to share photos of themselves using the company’s product in creative ways. 

By sharing their photos on social media with a branded hashtag, customers can earn points or rewards, while also promoting the brand to their own followers.

Suggestion

Gamification can also be used to incentivize certain behaviors or actions that support business objectives. For example, a company might create a gamified challenge where customers are encouraged to refer friends or family members to the business. 

By offering rewards or prizes for successful referrals, businesses can motivate customers to spread the word about their products or services.  In addition, recognizing reviews increases the likelihood that customers will share their experiences, which can in turn help to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

Fundamental Gamification Strategies

A good strategy is key to retaining customers, and gamification has plenty of ways to tackle that issue. In order to be successful, gamification strategies must be carefully designed and executed.

Match The Reward With The Effort

If a challenge is too difficult or the rewards are too small, customers may become discouraged and lose interest. On the other hand, if the challenge is too easy or the rewards are too generous, it could lead to a situation where you lose their retention once the rewards become a loss.

For example, if you have a plant-growing game that takes three days, and the reward ends up being a measly few cents, people will extend that disdain toward the entire brand. If their efforts aren’t going to be rewarded in a game, what more with the actual business? Avoid enabling that train of thought.

Keep Things Simple

You aren’t making the next Candy Crush here. Don’t get too hung up on making a fully-fledged game. A well-designed game will be intuitive, easy to understand, and offer a clear sense of progression and achievement. A simple puzzle or trivia game accomplishes this quite well.

Businesses should also consider the user experience, ensuring that the gamified elements are seamlessly integrated into their existing marketing channels. If a game is laggy or overly complex, then people really aren’t going to engage with the product in the first place.

Keep The Game Relevant

Back in the 90s, there was a boom of brand games ranging from McDonald’s platformers to the absurdly petty Space Invaders where Coke would shoot out the letters of Pepsi. These didn’t last very long as marketing tools because they failed to stay relevant to the brand’s identity.

Take your focus demographic’s interest into account while developing a game. For example, Barbie utilizes dress-up games such as Barbie’s Fashion Closet to both advertise their brands and give their target audience a way to see the newest outfits in their toy line. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment

It’s important to note that gamification isn’t going to solve all your retention issues. Different businesses and customer segments will respond differently to various gamification strategies, so it’s important to experiment and iterate in order to find what kind of games work best for your brand.

Just take a look at how well M&M’s eye-spy pretzel game worked out for them in 2013. It’s a simple concept that offered no prizes, and yet it worked amazingly well as a marketing strategy, earning them thousands of new followers and strong social media engagement.

Conclusion

Businesses must ensure that their gamification strategies align with their overall marketing objectives and brand values. While gamification can be a powerful tool for engagement and loyalty, it should not be used to manipulate or deceive customers. Customers can quickly become disillusioned if they feel that a company is using the best gaming trends to trick them into taking actions that are not in their best interest