How Apple Inc. Harnesses Epic Meaning & Calling to create Loyal Snobs

Image of The giving tree giving an Apple Inc. Logo to a boy

(Below is a manuscript snippet of my book, Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. Please subscribe to the mailing list on the right to order the book when it launches. This post may be moved into a Premium Area after a certain period of time).

Newton’s Pride is Not Just a Fruit. It’s Got Gravity.

Epic Meaning & Calling is generally best communicated during the Discovery and Onboarding Phase of a Player’s Journey. You want to communicate very early on exactly why the user should participate in your mission and become a player.

Apple Inc. is one of the rare companies that truly understands the Core Drive Epic Meaning & Calling, and they managed to instill that into consumers without it being user-generated, an open platform, or pushing for “a charitable cause.”

Every once in a while, I’ll have friends who excitedly tell me, “Hey Yu-kai, I am saving up to buy the next iPhone.” I would respond, “But you don’t even know what’s in the new iPhone! What if it sucks?” My friends would usually respond with, “I don’t care. I’m going to buy the next iPhone.”

Isn’t that a strange phenomenon in a world where electronic consumers are spoiled by all the options out there, with many alternatives touting the same or even better capabilities than the iPhone but only at a fraction of the cost?

Why are people so crazy about Apple products?

What we are seeing here are people who are self-identified as an “Apple Person,” and therefore they need to do what “Apple People” do, which of course, is to buy the newest Apple products.

This is also why you would regularly see hordes of “Apple Snobs” walking around and making comments like, “Oh, I never have that problem because I have a Mac.” “Hmm, well, that’s what you get for not using an iPhone.”

I myself have been guilty of this too (proudly!). When confronted with the argument that many Android phones have better specs and lower prices than the iPhone, my response has usually been, “Well, I don’t know about the specs, but I do know that, when I’m using an Android phone, I feel sad; but when I’m using an iPhone, I feel happy. Perhaps that’s worth something.”

So the Multi-Billion dollar question is: How does Apple do this?

Besides having a stellar and smooth product with an intense focus on the details of design, Apple has been one of the few electronics companies that actually try to sell a higher meaning.

Lets examine two of the most successful Apple commercials in history.

Continue reading How Apple Inc. Harnesses Epic Meaning & Calling to create Loyal Snobs

Guest Blog: The Employee Rewards That Really Count

Image of Google gear showing extrinsic motivation at play as Employee Rewards

An internship at Google- examples of extrinsic employee rewards. Image by frakkin from Reddit

Guest Blog Author Bio

TechnologyAdvice is a market leader in business technology recommendations. The company provides free and unbiased research and analysis of IT options to help businesses of all sizes find the solutions that best fit their specific technology needs.

Employee Rewards That Really Count

One of the biggest issues when it comes to designing a reward program for sales teams is that everyone is motivated differently.

Some people prefer extrinsic rewards – physical things such as vacations, bonuses, salary raises, trophies, or swag like the image above. Others would rather receive intrinsic motivation through recognition and public attention. Studies have been conflicted as to whether an extrinsic rewards system or an intrinsic motivational system is more effective. So how do you decide what to offer? How do you find out what your employees really want?

According to a report issued by the Incentive Research Foundation, the key to successful employee motivation is to have a well-designed program that equally emphasizes both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards.

In other words, offering raises, bonuses, and other forms of compensation is a great starting point, but a successful sales incentive program should go beyond that point.

The key to your employees finding value in the program might have nothing to do with the actual reward at all.

Continue reading Guest Blog: The Employee Rewards That Really Count

How eBay and Amazon Wield Gamification Techniques

Image of a person handing a book through a laptop screen

(Below is a manuscript snippet of my book, Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. Please subscribe to the mailing list on the right to order the book when it launches. This post may be moved into a Premium Area after a certain period of time).

The First Gamification Site that I was Addicted to

One of the most popular blog posts on my website is a list of the “Top 10 eCommerce Gamification Examples that will Revolutionize Shopping,” with my first choice being eBay (Disclosure – I’ve worked with eBay on a couple projects in 2013, none which are mentioned here). is an online auction site that was founded in 1995, fairly early in the internet era. It became one of the largest Dot Com boom successes, and till this day is one of the leading tech companies.

Less known to most people, is that eBay is also one of the earliest eCommerce companies that built gamification in its core DNA.

If you just think of creating a generic ecommerce site, it’s not necessarily intuitive to have a competitive bidding system, a mutual buyer-seller feedback interface, a “path to level up” through achievement symbols such as Yellow, Purple, and Gold Stars, as well as Power Seller statuses.

Interestingly, eBay was the first platform to trigger my first business. Without eBay, it is very likely that I would not have become an entrepreneur, and as a result you would not have this book to read.

Continue reading How eBay and Amazon Wield Gamification Techniques

Why Gaming is Good For You

While gamification and gaming aren’t mutually exclusive, they certainly aren’t disconnected either.

Researchers have been exploring how games impact our brain development and influence everything from our social behavior to our emotional health. What they’ve uncovered is astonishing.

For a quick look at why gaming is good for you, check out the infographic below (who doesn’t love a good infographic?)

As affirmative as this infographic is, the public discourse around the negative impacts of gaming continue to garner a lot of attention in the media.

Check out my recent article for a deeper look at the controversy surrounding violent video games.

Why Gaming is Good for You

Why Gaming is Good for You- an infographic from Frugal Dad
Why Gaming is Good for You- an infographic from Frugal Dad

Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Guest Post: Octalysis Analysis of “Momentum”

Momentum Logo by Mindbloom

An Octalysis Analysis of Momentum – The Journey

Today’s Octalysis Analysis is brought to you by our very own Octalysis Explorer, Mike Finney! 

Note-taking can be boring. Many times one starts a personal journal and then stops because it is not fun and thus not sustainable. Momentum takes a boring note-taking task and turns it into something meaningful, beautiful and fun!

Core Drive #1: Epic Meaning & Calling

Octalysis Score: 3

As part of the Onboarding phase, a screen launch image introduces the vision. The vision is “Your positive life experiences, moving you forward!”

A player’s quest is to “Ride the wave of your positive life experiences” by collecting them. The hot-air balloon soaring through the sky is fueled by his positive moments. Since the vision of the app is to help the player see himself in “… a more positive light…”, the player is on board with the vision of long-term happiness and is motivated to enter in a few notes.

The developer, Mindbloom, wants the player to have a long-term relationship with this intrinsic value app. To kick off the relationship, they want the player to enter in an uplifting note that is happy, reflective or something similar. In Hook Model terms, the developer wants the player to take action by entering in a note which also serves as an investment in the product. This will load the next external trigger which is a notification. The notification will fire when the balloon runs out of fuel and lands on the ground.

What follows the launch image are three introductory screens which says how to use the app and succeed. See “How To Use Momentum” figures below:

Continue reading Guest Post: Octalysis Analysis of “Momentum”

10 Astonishing Stats about Employee Engagement

This infographic (courtesy of our friends at Officevibe) looks at the poor state of employee engagement across the U.S. One stat pulled from Gartner shows how gamification is rapidly becoming a strategy for companies to improve engagement levels (and therefore employee output). But as you all know, it’s not gamification principles and mechanics themselves per sé that make work more meaningful, enjoyable, etc.- it’s all about how you apply them.

Share with us how your company- or you- are employing gamification techniques to keep you and your team motivated.

10 Shocking Stats About Employee EngagementInfographic crafted with love by Officevibe, the corporate team building and employee engagement platform.