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. Woot.com’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.