Gamification—What Is It and How Can It Help Your Business?
Gamification. It has become one the top buzz words in tech advertising. Every agency that makes websites or apps for non-gaming products have started looking at the advantages and disadvantages of this new concept.
Yes, for those outside of gaming, this concept of gamification is BRAND new. The idea of game concepts in a serious business doesn’t seem to be a normal leap. First, let’s examine the concept of gamification.
Definition: Gamification is the integration of game theory or concept to non-gaming environments to increase engagement, loyalty, and entertainment values. Simply, engage users in a better way. This can be applied to any industry from health and fitness to education and transportation.
How to apply this to your needs. First a basic understanding of your customers is key. People want to feel accomplished and recognized. Then they like to share within their social circles. Games are the epitome of the Risk/ Reward system. To apply these to your business will most likely yield great results. So let’s take imaginary company X and apply this:
Company X sells health supplies to its customers.
- Rule #1: Accomplishment. People want to feel accomplished. By taking your product and making it social, your customer can share the successes they are having with the product to their friends. There are several options to accomplish this goal: social networking sites, events, etc. However you choose to allow your customers to share their experiences may vary on your particular set of demographics.
- Rule #2: Rewards. If they use your product successfully, reward them! This doesn’t mean that you have to give away your assets, but reward them someway. What is very effective in gaming is that the rewards are given socially. Games award successful play and that can be shared. Xbox has a reward system that shows others what you have accomplished in each game you play. Some players love to get them all and some love to get the ones they like.
Regardless of the type of customer you have, this plays well with them. If you wanted to create more suspense and engagement, it’s not bad to have a risk system setup. This allows you to fractionally remove points or rewards from players if they are not active in the system.
Gamification is a tool that places you closer to your customer base through a series of risk/reward activities. By understanding the fundamentals of games, you can create engaging content for your players. Think a little outside of the box, and move into true engagement. I would encourage you to research what makes games engaging then apply the concepts as needed. While this is a brief overview of gamification, I would tell you to research game mechanics and concepts before you jump in feet first.
Make your business fun for your customers!