Relish it or not, approve of it or not; the trend of gamification is going to stay. It is not a wise idea to fight it. Instead embrace it and you will encourage customers to stick to your brand. Using some of the catchy concepts involved in game mechanics on a business website, in your service, and also perhaps in your storefront. And if you are not convinced as why to infuse a gaming element into your business site, here’s why!
In the previous post, we’ve discussed how social game developers are eager to work out the types of players (their number gradually receding) who like a particular game and are likely to stick around, play around with friends, and spend some amount in it. But that doesn’t mean, social gaming fad is going to go away. There are reasons for believing so.
In fact, understanding the explosion of gamification is not that difficult. It satiates fundamental human urge, and desire for recognition and reward, status and fulfillment. It can be linked to a need for expression and sense of achievement. It’s simply next-generation customer rewards methodology, with an eye on their psychology. That may seem like a loaded description. But the point is: a company in any vertical or space can find ways and means to gamify its business activity with careful planning.
The question is how and where to begin? Let me highlight some of the most important aspects to be considered while building a gamification strategy for your brand…
- First and foremost, keep in mind the fact that your plan won’t work unless it’s inherently social. When infusing a gaming element into your business site, let users-compete against or show off to-their online connections. For example, users at New York City-based Codecademy can keep tabs on their friends’ progress, and check how they stack up by using Twitter and Facebook. Its founder Zach Sims reveals that the social aspect is extremely important for two reasons: it draws more users to the site, and keeps them interested. Sims has been quoted as saying,
- “It’s a way for people to flaunt to the world that they are accomplishing things. We’ve leader boards that let users compare themselves with friends. It’s no more just you sitting on your machine alone anymore; it’s you striving to achieve something and learn.”
- An added advantage of making the element of gamification shareable over social sites is that it can sustain the site’s stickiness. It can go viral as people share things within their networks. And why would they do so in the first place. It’s because they get excited at the prospect of winning. Gamification should ideally have a thrust on boosting customer loyalty- all the time. If executed properly, traditional marketing loyalty programs might soon be a thing of the past.
- Typical programs, such as frequent flier miles, are good in terms of prompting users to sign up. However, they seldom offer enough information by effectively tracking customers after they start interacting with the brand. The logical way out is to create an intermediate level wherein users are constantly getting feedback on their actions in order to sustain their interest.