The Six Contextual Types of Rewards in Gamification

Gamification Rewards

Make your Gamified Experience Rewarding

Everyone wants rewards, right? But so often, companies failed to use rewards to incentivize their users or customers to take a specific action. Here I’ll cover six different types of rewards that companies are using to build their customer base and develop engaged users and customers, and we’ll look at how you can implement the same rewards in your own business.

The goal of this post is to make applying gamification and Octalysis easier. Perhaps some of you might still feel the 8 Core Drives are still too abstract, and want to jump straight into “how do I reward my users” (which is not great thinking as you would know from my work).

Keep in mind, the reward context types below are not mutually exclusive, as you can have one reward include multiple contextual types, but they are useful in being archetypes when you think about reward structures.

Gamification Reward #1: Fixed Action Rewards (Earned Lunch)

The first type of reward within gamification is the Fixed Action Reward, or Earned Lunch (Game Technique #7). This is pretty straight forward – the user knows exactly what she must do to get the reward.

Examples include anything that involves collecting points, frequent flyer miles, or punches on your card — in other words, loyalty programs of all flavors. With these rewards, the company lays out exactly what the customer has to do to earn something, and then gives the customer a way to track how far they’ve come along in their goal.

Fixed Action Rewards engage customers by building their loyalty and rewarding frequent action. For example, if a customer works near a deli shop, and that deli shop offers a free sandwich when he gets 12 punches on his loyalty card, that customer will be more motivated to grab lunch at the deli shop every day. In fact, as the customer gets closer to completing his 12 punches, he become even more frequent at the deli because he wants to finish up his card and collect his reward.

This utilizes the three Left Brain Core Drives – Development & Accomplishment (Core Drive #2), Ownership & Possession (Core Drive #4), and Scarcity & Impatience (Core Drive #6).

Gamification Reward #2: Random Rewards (Mystery Box)

The second type of reward in gamification is the Random Reward (Game Technique #72).

While fixed action rewards are great for helping companies build loyalty, they are heavily implemented and lacks some right brain core drives that gets customers really engaged. There are a few ways to spice things up, and Random Rewards is one of them.

In games, there is the concept of “loot” or “drops” which are random rewards that appear once the player achieves a win-state or defeats an enemy. Often times, this unpredictable process is what drives players in the Endgame (Experience Phase #4).

With random rewards, the participant gets a reward based on completing a required action, but they don’t necessarily know what the reward is. This actually doesn’t matter and can even enhance their engagement; the process of getting the reward is exciting because the participant knows that they will be surprised at the end by whatever they end up with.

Using random rewards makes participants feel like they did on Christmas morning as a kid. They saw the rewards under the tree, and they knew they would find out what they were getting eventually. But the anticipation of getting the reward, even though they have no idea what’s in the boxes, is part of what makes things so exciting.

Quarterly is a subscription company that offers mystery boxes to its customers every three months. They source their themes from influencers like Timothy Ferriss, bestselling author of The 4-Hour Chef/Body/Work Week.

These influencers hand select items to go in their mystery box and participants are allowed to subscribe to the box without knowing what there can end up getting.

Why would anyone spend $100 or more on objects that they don’t even know about beforehand? Because the element of surprise is a reward within itself.

Lots of companies offer random rewards in the form of mystery boxes.’s most coveted item is something titled “Bag of Crap” which is literally just whatever they want to send you in a bag. There are actually blogposts talking about best strategies to obtain the Bag of Crap, as it is really really hard to obtain.

On top of the core drives mentioned in Fixed Action Rewards, Random Rewards add the core drive Unpredictability & Curiosity (Core Drive #7), which is an excellent way to surprise and delight your customers and engage them to become deeper fans of your offering.

Gamification Reward #3: Sudden Rewards (Easter Eggs)

Continue reading The Six Contextual Types of Rewards in Gamification

How to Create an Overpowered Resume (Part 2/3)

Here’s part 2 of 3. To get part 3, join Octalysis Prime.

To review, here’s the last post, How to Create an Overpowered Resume, Part 1/3.

Share your Results (and How you did it)

How can you make your accomplishments resonate emotionally?

One way is to provide specificity.

I quickly resolved several hundred complaints in a high-stress environment using analytical skills and software with a 99% rating by customers I helped.

Here, your audience, the resume reviewer, can clearly see the results, and how you did it.

(This is stronger than simply sharing what your job is, and the results.)

The example above demonstrates difficulty, impact, scope, and suggests a certain skillset put to use to solve a problem.

Demonstrate your Behaviors

Sometimes a bullet point will take a highlight from an experience and illustrate how it is unique.

Most people I talk to have quite plain resumes. They aren’t so interesting to read. How can we fix this?

Can you focus on impact?

This is a good thought, but be careful.

Highlighting too lofty of impact can feel a little awkward if it isn’t supported by your other bullet points. However, it is a useful way to generate stories.

Okay, that wraps up what I think about specific bullet points.

How to Structure Your Resume

If you’re recently graduated, you may start with your education. After you’ve held a few jobs, you may move it down.

Adjust your structure based on relevance.

The first thing you put in your work experience should be the most impressive thing you’ve ever done.

If the recruiter or resume reviewer only reads the first bullet point, they should be immediately interested in speaking with you.

In situations where the reviewer is scanning dozens or even hundreds of resumes, this single bullet point will help you stand out and keep your potential employer intrigued enough to call you in for an in-person interview.

Good luck!

To get part 3 of this series, join Octalysis Prime.

How to Create an Overpowered (OP) Resume

I love helping friends and associates improve their resumes. Here’s how.

Your resume will be sent to prospective employers. Consider that:

  • It’s your first impression.
  • It needs to get you the meeting.

I’ve helped hundreds of people optimize. Some of who are making over $100k a year. I worked with one of these people for just a couple of hours to improve it immensely. He was embarrassed by how much better it portrayed him.

Goal: Make people want to know more about you.

It is supposed to be a brochure, not a manual.

Once you’re in the interview, the resume isn’t as important as your performance in the interview itself.

One page is better than two, but two is fine if you have a TON of notable experiences.

Focus on condensing to one page.

(If something isn’t a major value add, reduce it or remove it.)

10-15 seconds (to make an impression)

Remember your audience: Recruiters. Recruiters are busy. They are paging through and reviewing MANY resumes.

You are building an image of yourself in someone else’s head.

Think about these images, then craft it.

Ask yourself: What are the best 2-3 powerful aspects about you?

Make these very clear. For help, you might consider looking into the Skill Triangle, something I developed for Octalysis Prime.

10k Hours of Play, Skill Triangle

Diminishing marginal image

Keep in mind that as you add information about a given skill, each new piece of information adds less value.

The next bullet point suggesting you are good at marketing research may not resonate as well as the first and the second. Instead, round out the resume.

For example, Could you show how are you as a team player?

I’m looking forward to sharing a template with you as well in Part 2 of this series.

In each bullet, there are four possible areas to discuss

  • What it is
  • How you did it
  • Results
  • Impact

Usually, you can cover 2/4 of these in each bullet.

As most Octalysis Prime members know, simply listing your responsibility may not be putting your best foot forward.

octalysis - Gamification book Get Actionable Gamification

Remember, for example, that all other analysts will have similar job titles.

If your role is unique, be sure to highlight that, but don’t waste too much real estate on the ‘What it is’, and spend more time on the How, the Results, and the Impact.

Ins and Outs

Another way to approach is to consider the Ins and Outs.

What did you put In? Effort, approach, resources.

What came Out of it? Results, results, results.

Consider that low In but high Out demonstrates creativity in approaching a problem.


Use past tense and stay consistent in your punctuation and grammar.

Good luck and we’ll see you in part 2!

IS Google to Blame for the Decline of Small Business in America?

Starting and running a small business has always been a risky value proposition. The Small Business Administration tells us that 60 percent of them won’t make it past their first birthday.

Historically, that failure rate was eclipsed by the sheer number of new business starts each year. More businesses opened than closed — until 2008. That year, for the first time in more than 30 years, small-to-medium size business (SMB) closings outnumbered openings — and by a big margin. That year, the country was left with a deficit of roughly 100,000 small businesses. And that trend line really hasn’t reversed course all that much since then.¹

Continue reading IS Google to Blame for the Decline of Small Business in America?

Local Search Reinvented: LuckyDiem Gamifies the Restaurant Business

Local Search Table

This article first appeared on LuckyDiem’s blog.

Supporting Local Businesses and Fighting Cancer

Imagine if Google or Yelp added unique discounts and prizes to every one of its business listings? Imagine a simple way to not only support local businesses, but help support the fight against childhood cancer as well? You might wonder how it’s possible to offer a service that helps save you money while helping so many others…that is absolutely free and fun to use.  Welcome to LuckyDiem.


Just go to

There’s no need to download an app, simply go to and search for what you’re looking for by either category or by “What’s Nearby.” Every business on LuckyDiem offers you a chance to win discounts and/or prizes.  Simply take a spin on the business’s virtual slot machine to see if it’s your lucky day.

Win discounts

Most businesses on LuckyDiem offer three levels of discounts–each one somewhat dependent upon your level of engagement. For example, the lowest level discount can be won simply off a spin of the slot machine. This discount can then be increased by answering a trivia question about the business. The third and highest level of discount is awarded to users who share their good fortune with their friends on social media. Sharing your reward is actually a three-way win on LuckyDiem because it 1) enables you to earn the highest level of discount, 2) helps get the word out about the local business you like, and 3) supports the fight against childhood cancer (more about this later).

Win prizes from every business

With LuckyDiem, you have the chance to instantly win small prizes from all of our businesses such as free drinks and gift cards, as well as entries into a business’s jackpot prize that is won by a user every three months. In fact, some of our current businesses in our Manhattan launch market have some pretty amazing prizes such as a free CoolSculpting session at SkinTheraP Medical Spa (valued at $750) or a $500 Gift Card for Invisalign services through Dr. Michelle Katz.

Win Mega Jackpots

LuckyDiem is leveling the playing field for local businesses to compete with national brands that can afford promotions with expensive prizes. Now even the smallest business on LuckyDiem can offer its customers chances to win awesome prizes such as VIP tickets to sporting events and concerts. There’s no purchase necessary, but being a good customer that makes purchases and shares with their friends, will undoubtedly increase your chances of winning. Like our businesses’ jackpots, our Mega Jackpots have winners every three months. Moreover, if you win tickets to an event that you’re not absolutely thrilled with, we will make every effort to get you to an event that you’ll love. Through our relationship with 8760, we have access to hundreds of major events throughout the year.

Leave your wallet at home


Mobile payments are no doubt the wave of the future–super convenient for consumers, but unfortunately, expensive for small business owners to implement. LuckyDiem is introducing a revolutionary new mobile payment solution that allows users to pay with their phones at any of our businesses and immediately receive the discount they’ve earned from playing LuckyDiem. Our technology works without any new hardware or software, so businesses owners don’t have to change a thing.

Not all leaderboards are created equal

Like many of you, we used to love Foursquare (come Swarm) for its leaderboards. We liked competing with our friends to become the mayor of our favorite spots, as well as feeling the love  from being their “best customer.” But then something strange started happening; rather than being welcomed by management, Mayors were given the cold shoulder, some were in fact plainly asked to leave. It turns out, not all Mayors are created equal. Many Mayors had acquired their badge simply by checking into a business without ever spending a dime–they had gamed the system.

Enter LuckyDiem which rewards users based on their true value to a business–the purchases that not only you make, but your friends’ as well. Now a business can quickly view its leaderboard and have no doubt as to who their best customers are (Sharks and Whales in our world), and not worry about the all lame ducks mayors from the old days. And of course, the higher you are on a leaderboard, the more perks you receive such as more spins to win prizes from businesses and from us.

Sharing really is caring


Finally, as mentioned earlier, LuckyDiem makes it easy for you to not only save money, but save lives. With every reward that is shared,, LuckyDiem makes a contribution to Hope & Heroes, a nonprofit that funds the life-saving work on childhood cancer and blood disorders at Columbia University Medical Center.

We hope you will try LuckyDiem. Save money, save lives and seize the play!

Continue reading Local Search Reinvented: LuckyDiem Gamifies the Restaurant Business

[Infograph] Creating engaging photos on Facebook

Engaging Photos on Facebook

[Infograph] Creating engaging photos on Facebook

Many businesses turn to Facebook as a means to attract attention to their products or services. What many people don’t realize is that they are more than likely making one very common mistake that is actually a detriment to these very goals.

Keeping in mind that people are drawn to visually pleasing images, the one thing that will make people click away from (or not click at all!) your page is posting images (or links, videos, etc.) that are blurry or grainy. Perhaps you think that since you invested in a high quality camera, your images should be more than sufficient. More than likely, however, you are making this very common mistake: you images are not correctly sized.

Indeed, if you ignore Facebook’s recommended dimensions when posting images, links or videos, your content may be pixelated or cut off. Here is how to avoid these pitfalls.

Facebook Profile and Cover Photos

Let’s start with the Facebook profile photo and cover photo, since these are arguably the bread and butter of Facebook. Facebook photos should be sized at 180x180px while cover photos should be 828x315px. What about images, links or videos, you ask? Indeed, these have their own set of recommended dimensions, which should be 1200x630px, 1200x627px and 1200x675px respectively.

Other Dimensions on Facebook

The dimensions for posts and ad dimensions will differ yet again depending upon the nature of the content. Images should be 1200x900px while links and videos should be 1200x628px and 1200x675px respectively.

Ensure that your text is not over 20% and that your videos do not exceed 4 GB. Thumbnails also differ in size. For page post images and links, thumbnails should be 254x133px. Thumbnails for page post videos should be 254x143px. Lastly, there is a set of dimensions that govern page post events or page post like ads. Events should be 1200x44px while event responses should be 1920x1080px.

Here is the original source.