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).
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.