Top 10 Marketing Gamification Cases You Won’t Forget

Marketing Gamification

Marketing Gamification is not just in your face. It’s in your head.

As a gamification consultant, I work with many different types of clients and projects in product, workplace, and marketing gamification. As time goes by, an interesting pattern arises based on the help they need from me:

  • Smaller startup clients usually want help with product gamification. This process has to do with creating a winning product that provides a rather addictive experience, where players naturally want to keep playing.
  • Mid-sized companies enlist my help for marketing gamification. The objectives here are to: attract potential new customers within a target market segment and get them actively engaged with their brand and products. This is also more focused on the discovery phase in my Octalysis Framework.
  • Fortune 500s and large companies usually shift their focus on workplace gamification. Their motive is often to train employees (in a way that feels effortless) and to cultivate a greater sense of solidarity within the internal team.

In previous posts, I have spoken at length about product and workplace gamification. But I haven’t spent much time on marketing gamification. So I thought I’d show some interesting marketing gamification examples.

Beyond Basic Loyality Programs

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. To illustrate this, I will present ten real life case examples.

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.

Nike+ As Seen Through Octalysis

The strongest Core Drive that the Nike Fuelband utilizes is Development & Accomplishment (Core Drive #2), where they show users daily feedback on how close users are to their daily goals. Also, whenever they hit a goal or have a streak, an animated cartoon character jumps out and starts to celebrate in a hyper manner.

Also, the immediate feedback meets their need to feel Empowerment (#3), another core drive within Octalysis.

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. Here we can see the aspect of Social Influence & Relatedness (#5) within the Octalysis model. 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

In 2011 the number of players using Fuelband was 5 million. This is estimated to reach 11 million by the end of 2013.

Marketing Gamification Example #2: My Starbucks Reward

Starbuck‘s philosophy has always been focused on personal service in favor of consumers. Much of their business model is based on ambiance. The inside of each store is characterized by an inviting environment that is hip and upbeat. Customers are enticed to stay longer so that they can sit and enjoy their coffee or espresso.

How My Starbucks Reward Works

The brand used gamification tactics to enhance the Starbuck’s experience and to boost sales as well. Players register for My Reward through an application. Everytime they purchase a Starbucks product, they accumulate stars (which actually look like cups that are graphically filled in).

But the game does not stop here. There are three “levels” depending on the degree of user loyalty. More frequent visits to a Starbucks store is awarded through an upgraded level. Examples of benefits include: an extra cup of coffee, a birthday gift or even offers designed specially for the customer.

Core Octalysis Drives

Within the Octalysis model, the Core drive of Development & Accomplishment (#2) is a major source of motivation. Another element is Ownership & Possession (the possibility of receiving virtual goods, which is common to any loyalty program).

Results

In 2012, the users of My Reward totaled about 4.5 million. The cards alone accounted for $3 billion in sales per year.

Marketing Gamification Example #3: McDonald’s Monopoly Game

McDonald’s succeeded in increasing their product sales by using gamification concepts derived from the classic game of Monopoly.

This promotion dates back to 1987. And it takes place entirely offline. When you buy certain products from McDonald’s, you will receive tickets. Each ticket represents a space on the monopoly game board. The goal is to collect all the pieces of the same color to be eligible for a prize.

How Compelling Is the McDonalds Monopoly Game?

One loyal customer made a You Tube video about this game and explains:

Every October I go through the McDonald’s drive through just because of this silly game. They got me!

The alliance between brands seems to work well: In 2010, McDonald’s increased its sales by 5.6% in USA through this program, with many people engaged in impulse buying just to get tickets.

Marketing Gamification Example #4: Coca-Cola’s Shake It Continue reading Top 10 Marketing Gamification Cases You Won’t Forget

Gamification Research: How FarmVille uses Game Mechanics to become Winning & Addicting

Farmville Gamification

New to Gamification? Check out my post What is Gamification & my Gamification Framework: Octalysis

Gamification Research on the Game you don’t want to play but have to play

Most people know about FarmVille, either because they have played it themselves, or because they’ve been harassed by their grandmas to give their farms a nice virtual crop.

FarmVille is one of Zynga’s best performing games, and for some time was Facebook’s most popular game of all time. Currently, it still remains one of the Top 10 Games on Facebook.

The interesting thing is, FarmVille really isn’t that “fun.” It just mastered some very strong game mechanics to get everyone addicted to it, and then have them invite their friends to play with them.

When you ask FarmVille players whether the game is “fun” or not, you never hear people say, “Its SO amazing!” What you actually will hear is, “it’s okay… I play it every day so I guess it’s pretty fun. You should try it, and make sure you become my neighbor and give me these special crops!”

Similar to my post that analyzes the game mechanics of Diablo 3, this post analyzes the game mechanics that FarmVille uses to become Winning & Addicting.

Basic Game Mechanics

 

Virtual Reality and Fantasy

Like all sim related games, FarmVille allows the player to imagine herself living the life of someone else, in this case the exciting life of a – woopdidoo – Farmer!

Unfortunately, even though there are some applications in this within Gamification, it mostly ties into the concept of Serious Games, so we won’t be learning too much from this here.

Virtual Currency, Goods, and Values

This first thing a game needs to do, is to get the users to care about something. Sometimes it’s overcoming challenges, sometimes it’s finding out more about the storyline, and in Farmville’s case, it’s caring about virtual goods and properties.

FarmVille players are quickly introduced to a FarmVille currency system called Farm Coins, and as they invest more and more time to accumulate Farm Coins, it establishes value in the players head.

More importantly, because players are trying to build the best farm possible, there now is a new value system based on various crops and properties. Points (coins) aren’t just there for kicks and giggles, but there is actually an ecosystem where they could convert into other things that the player has learned to covet but are difficult to obtain.

Most of the other game mechanics can only work because of this value that is installed into the mind of players.

God Farmville Gamification

Ownership and Possession

Continue reading Gamification Research: How FarmVille uses Game Mechanics to become Winning & Addicting

CTF365 turns Information Security into an Epic Battle through Training Gamification

Training Gamification

Security Training Gamification

I receive tons of emails from around the world regarding gamification, asking me for feedback or share their story. I read all of them and many of them are interesting but because of my 24/7 limited time and full agenda (between my clients, my video show, writing my own content, and writing my book, along with a few startup projects) I’m forced to dig deep only a few projects. ?Few days ago, I received an email from Marius Corici, CEO and Co-founder for the CTF365 startup project, asking me to take a look at what he’s working on it. That, really caught my attention and I started to do a little research.

We live in a digital, connected world and security is one of the most important issues that today’s world confront with. According to Scientific American’s blog, last year there were 20 threats per second world wide which translates into over 1.7 millions threats per day. Don’t believe me? Google “hacked”.

The Gamification Challenge

Security training is generally dull and boring, but essential.

When it comes to learning information security, there are a few ways that people do. Through CS faculties (basics), security training companies (dull) or self taught – Google, forums, blogs (monotonous).

However somebody has to do it because is essential.

Frost & Sullivan predicts global employment of information security professionals to increase by 332,000, ending 2013 at 3.2 million and reaching ~5 millions by 2017. These 5 million we talk are these that get a world wide recognized security certificate. Beside them there are around 25 millions users that regularly check into security, hacking and system administrator forums.

The Gamification Solution

What if we could have a method of security training that is not dull and boring – a method that would be fun, entertaining, challenging and community driven?

We all know the best way to learn is to learn through applications, and that’s where gamification excels at with great results on education and training. Learning information security through gamification would increase students/employee engagement, improve retention rate and speed up the learning curve/process.

I recently wrote a post about the Top 10 Education Gamification Examples that Will Change Our Future. Feel free to take a look.

CTF = Capture the Flag Gamification

Information Security through Gamification is not a brand new concept. In fact it’s been around for a while since the internet started. It is called CTF – Capture The Flag. The DefCon conference has one of the first CTF competitions and you can even check CTF Time to see where a CTF (within the information security industry) will take place. If you dig into CTFs, you’ll find CTFs organized by CS faculties, companies or even governments agencies.

However there are a few problems thatmany CTF competitions have:

• They Don’t last – Nowadays CTFs last between 24 hours up to 3 days only.
• Most have Geographical Limitations – Often times you have to be physically in that room/building.
• They are Scattered – it happens all over the world but they are scattered and short, which means almost all of them are small too.
• They Don’t Count – because of the problems described above, HR departments don’t concern themselves too much to high-achievers in these games.

That’s why the team behind CTF365 decided that it is time to change the way Capture the Flag is designed and held by bringing a brand new approach to push security gamification into a bigger scale:

Game Design of CTF365

Team-Based

The game is team-based which means it will improve and strengthen communication skills as teams are forced to work together under pressure developing critical attributes of any enterprise security team, especially for those like Red Teams, CERT, CSIRT etc.

Teams are from all around the world

There are over 8500 registered users and more than 590 teams waiting for launch.

Basically they’ve built an internet within The Internet. A place where security professionals, security students and security wannabes, system administrators and programmers can play and get continuous training over information security.

How does CTF365 work?

CTF365 is a real life game where “Players” build their own Fortress/VPS (virtual private server) and defend them while attacking other servers. It’s what happened in real life when your server or computer networks are under attack by hackers.

Below are some questions I asked Marius:

Define CTF365 in one sentence.

“World of Warcraft for Hackers.” As a “Player”, the awesome magic moves and fighting techniques will be represented by your ability to write crazy powerful scripts to hack.

How did CTF365 get your initial 8500 registered users before launch?

We do the usual strategies when your marketing budget is close to none:

• Word of Mouth – Very powerful tool. This got us to hit the top on Hacker News and we got over 12,500 unique visits in one day and over 1000 registered users.

• Referral campaigns – Bring 5,10, or 15 Players and get access to the Private Alpha, Private Beta, as well as premium accounts for testing.

• Strategic partnerships – Free access for not-for-profit Information Security Conferences. This helped us to get featured on The Hacker News.

Why do you think CTF365 will catch your target Players’ attention?

I’m not an expert in gamification but looking at your Octalysis Framework I can tell that at the beginning, CTF365 will have 4 Core Drives out of 8:

Epic Meaning & Calling – Learning, Training and Improving Security Skills. As a “Player”, playing CTF365 is like haven for everyone interested in information security starting from security professionals and security wannabe, all the way up to system administrators and developers. They can do and test things that are forbidden like attacking and hacking everyone else system without worries about legality.

Ownership & Possession – They can build their bases from scratch, own virtual goods (e.g. servers, routers, etc.), speedup learning curve and improving retention rate.

Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback – Using different techniques they’ll be able to unlock certain milestone while having real-time control over their servers and receiving instant feedback.

Accomplishment Core – Nothing would make them happy than being in “Hall of Fame” leaderboard, wining prizes while collecting points and badges for their real skills.

What’s your ambition with CTF365 project

There are three goals that we want to achieve:

  1. We want CTF365 to become a prerequisite for the InfoSec industry. A security professional certificate is important, but more important is what you really can do hands on.
  2. Become the World of Warcraft for the ITC industry. Using specific hacking tools is one thing, writing powerful scripts as a programmer is even cooler. Programmers can team up with ethical hackers to boost their teams.
  3. Linkedin on steroids for HR departments when hire security professionals.

Top 10 Gamification Lessons Inspired by South Park

South Park Gamification

The Genius of South Park

So I’ve been aware of South Park for over a decade now, but I wasn’t a fan because I just thought it was just some potty-mouthed kids who cussed a lot and loved gory death scenes. I didn’t even think the kids had different personalities.

However, last year my friends decided to watch a bunch of South Park for after-work relaxations, and I happened to drop in on a few episodes. What I realized, is that once you get pass the potty-mouth cussing and gory scenes (which I still don’t like), all the kids (and parents) have their unique personalities, flaws, insecurities, and moments of strength. It also actually brings a lot of insights to many deep social issues as well as psychological maneuvers that fit perfectly inline with my Gamification Framework Octalysis.

My mission here on the blog is to teach you how to do *good* gamification design, which is beyond just the Points, Badges, and Leaderboards, but ties directly into the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis (which are intrinsic motivations). But of course, it’s difficult to remember all 8 Core Drives, let alone using them in actual design and thinking.

Hence I thought presenting some lessons of gamification through fun episodes of South Park is a good way to learn in a fun way (after all, Education in Gamification is a big field these days).

1. Cartmanland

In this episode, Cartman inherits $1 Millions from his deceased grandmother, and decides to use almost all it to buy a struggling theme park.

Instead of trying to improve its business, Cartman makes a TV commercial to show how fun “Cartmanland” is and emphasizes that no one besides him can enjoy it.

After realizing he needs to hire a security guard to keep people out, he starts to accept one customer a day to pay the security guard. Then he starts to realize that he needs to hire and pay for more things in order to sustain operations, so he started to open it up to 2, 3, 4, 10s, and then hundreds of people everyday.

Since people all saw how they couldn’t get into Cartmanland, when they learned that it is starting to accept more people, they rushed to get in.

Eventually, everyone wanted to go to Cartmanland and it went from a near-bankrupted theme park into one of the most popular ones ever. This is a great example of the Octalysis Core Drive: Scarcity & Impatience (#6), where people want something, just because they can’t have it.

2. You have 0 Friends

This is a pretty straight foward episode regarding the Core Drive #5: Social Pressure & Envy. In this episode regarding Facebook, Stan sees that every one of his friends is using Facebook, and all of them are feeling that they’re not really “friends” unless Stan adds them.

Stan eventually succumbs to the pressure and starts to use his Facebook account. Then his dad and girlfriend all get mad him for not adding them as friends or changing his status to being in a relationship.

On the other hand, Kyle added an unpopular kid who had no friends in school, which resulted everyone else unfriending him due to “bad association.” Unable to stand the social pressure, Kyle finally unfriends the unpopular kid in school, hoping to add back his popularity again.

In this episode, we also see Core Drive: Development & Accomplishment (#2), as everyone tries to keep track of their friend count, with Cartman jumping for joy when he sees that he had more friends than Kyle.

3. Butters’ Bottom Bitch

In this episode, after Butters becomes a customer of a girl who would kiss anyone for $5, he decides to start a “girl kissing business” where he would hire girls around school and kiss other boys for money.

To motivate the girls, Butters introduced an “employee motivation” system, where the girls would earn a sun on a calendar every time they got clients, but if the girls fail to show up to work that day, they would get a stormy cloud.

This, like most badge and leaderboard systems, focuses on Core Drive #2: Development & Accomplishment, Core Drive #5: Social Pressure & Envy, as well as Core Drive #8: Loss & Avoidance.

It works in kindergarten, and it works for pimps.

4. Chinpokomon

Top 10 Enterprise Gamification Cases That Will Make Employees More Productive

Gamification Enterprise

New to Gamification? Check out my post What is Gamification & my Gamification Framework: Octalysis

This is a guest post by Steven Laird. Steven is currently a Systems Integration Consultant at Accenture and is interested in the intersection of technology and psychology. He believes a gamified culture may be the answer to a countless array of world problems afflicting the human condition.

Can Gamification really turn traditional drudgery into productive engagement within the enterprise?

In a world where creative and innovative tasks are becoming an increasingly greater part of the world economy, it seems the archaic carrot and stick tools of motivation used throughout the Industrial Revolution are un-evolved tactics that fail to truly engage the modern day individual. Perhaps one of the biggest indicators of a lagging workforce culture can be seen in how the U.S. loses nearly $370 BILLION annually due to disengaged employees according to a Gallop Poll.

With such staggering disengagement and worker dissatisfaction, I can’t help but wonder… what if I could harness that zen-like focus I get when I’m fully immersed in a video game for twelve hours straight onto my real-life work instead?

Well, it turns out a hoard of start-ups and large corporations have also caught a whiff of what’s cooking and have started to build gamification applications and programs which have turned into a $100 million industry overnight that is expected to grow to $2.8 billion by 2016. Although there are many successful gamification examples that have cleverly incorporated game mechanics such as leaderboards, badges, and progress bars to provide real-time feedback and increased engagement, you have to wonder how in the world could you possibly make the most mundane tasks intrinsically motivating.

Despite the huge risk that 80% of current gamified processes may fail by 2014 due to employers simply replacing one extrinsic reward (money) for another (badges), there are actually quite a few enterprise gamification successes that have spawned from carefully applying game mechanics to fit the unique needs of each organization. As you’ll soon see, even the most mundane tasks can be successfully gamified to increase engagement. It’s time to take back that $370 billion and make a dent in our national deficit.

1. CRM: Salesforce Motivation integrated with Nitro/Bunchball

If you have ever worked in any sales related role ranging from door to door soliciting or the dreaded cold call, you know firsthand how demotivating a multitude of rejections can be. Although thick skin and a narrowed focus on the prize can get you through the day, in the end it’s team competitions, leaderboards, and rewards that have typically had the most success in motivating sales forces.

While I’m not particularly excited about these extrinsic rewards and believe that there’s a lot more intrinsic tactics that we have not fully tapped into yet, I do agree that providing real-time feedback and visibility into tasks is a first step. Remember how in the Disney animation Monsters Inc., Sullivan and Randall had a competitive rivalry to be on the top of the leaderboard? It was apparent that the tracking and real-time feedback significantly affected the monsters’ behavior in speed and focus on the job.

Salesforce Motivation uses these same proven techniques to replace manual processes with a user-friendly sales application that displays a team leaderboard, a progress bar, and a featured challenge that can be customized. Team standings display which teams are leading in points and progress bar while the rewards tab offers either real life or virtual goods selected by employees. Moreover, Salesforce Chatter allows for teams to easily exchange info and keep each other updated in a collaborative manner. While many sales jobs have not typically screamed of intrinsic motivation, let’s face it, we all have to sell every day in some shape or form. Now with this tool, sales teams can get a steady diet of real-time feedback to keep them gunning on achieving their short and long-term sales goals.

2. General Business Application: Badgeville with Yammer

What do you get when you combine one of the largest gamification companies with one of the leading social media plug-ins? Yammerville… I made that up but in all seriousness, Badgeville has become a dominant force in enterprise gamification with over 150 major deployments with major companies such as Deloitte, Samsung, Dell, and my own company Accenture. Similar to Salesforce Motivation, Badgeville provides an out of the box SaaS service that has many customizable options for companies to configure any type of goal ranging from task related goals such as completing expense reports to learning goals such as leveling up a key industry skill. With the integration of Yammer, companies are able to leverage gamification and social reputation so that when badges are achieved from a goal, these achievements can be published through social media to provide visibility throughout the entire company.

While I personally have never cared too much for posting an accomplishment through social media, I have found myself twiddling on my own Accenture profile and seeing how I can complete certification trainings or volunteer events in order to get the added bonus of a virtual badge. Although badges run the risk of sapping intrinsic motivation and creating gaming/manipulation of the system behavior, I have found that these badges can actually enhance intrinsic motivation, serve as a pseudo resume, and expose me to other skills/interests that I already have a liking towards.

When extrinsic rewards such as badges are paired carefully with a goal that you already have intrinsic motivation for, the effect can be positive. If extrinsic rewards such as prizes or money are large enough that they supersede intrinsic motivation, then all the unintended behaviors I mentioned are likely to occur and the benefits of gamification are lost. Because of this fine line and need for customization, Badgeville has created a gamification framework that can apply to a myriad of companies. Whether this is just a scheme to boost revenues or an effective methodology to improve productivity in enterprise remains to be seen.

3. Social Media: SAP Community Network

Continue reading Top 10 Enterprise Gamification Cases That Will Make Employees More Productive