Gamification Strategy: What is Gamification?

by: Mark Herbert August 13, 2020

You’ve heard the term tossed around, and rumor has it that it’s effective in sparking joy- something we all could use a little more of. So you take to the internet to dig a little deeper.

The question: what is gamification? And how does it work?

Here at Incentive Solutions, we’ve been incorporating elements of gamification into our incentive programs for years, capturing the attention and loyalty of our client’s most valuable customers and channel partners. But before we share our success stories, let’s start with the story of gamification and how it came to be.

The Definition of Gamification

Gamification is the application of game-like mechanics to concepts and environments not typically associated with games. The intention of “gamification strategy” is to increase overall engagement and inspire desired behaviors in a target audience, such as customers, employees, and partners.  Examples of game-like mechanics include point awards, leaderboards, progress bars, and varying levels of achievement (bronze, silver, gold).

Gamification Strategy 2

What is a Gamification Strategy?

Gamification strategy is an action taken by a business or educational system to implement a gamified system to stimulate, entertain, and encourage engagement with a specific product or service.

Gamification strategy can be broken down into two parts: game mechanics, and game dynamics.

Game Mechanics

Game Dynamics

The specific activities, rules, and rewards implemented in your gamified online platform. Examples include:

·         Point awards

·         Leaderboards

·         Progress bars

·         Badges

·         Ranked Levels of Achievement

The resulting emotions and behaviors of your target audience in response to the game mechanics. Examples include:

·         Achievement

·         Collaboration

·         Competition

·         Community

·         Surprise

Gamification is a powerful online sales and marketing tool, as well as a highly useful tactic as part of a customer loyalty and retention strategy. The longer your target audience spends positively interacting with your product or brand, the longer their lifetime value for your business will be.

How Does Gamification Strategy Work?

At the heart of the buzzword “gamification” lies its key source of power: games.

Regardless of the century in which your childhood took place, games were an integral part. Nostalgia and plain old fun(!) are just part of the fuel source behind the concept of gamification. The emotionally stimulating powers of games are stronger than ever, tapping into the human desire for learning, achievement, mastery, socializing, and status.

Gamification Strategy 1

What started as predominantly physical engagement, such as competitive games of tag or acquiring boy-scout patches as a symbol of achievement, has since transformed with the era of technology. As evidenced by today’s global gaming market, virtual gaming is expected to clock in a revenue of $159.3 billion dollars in 2020, with projections to hit $200 billion by 2023.

Society’s investment in games is clear, so why wouldn’t businesses try and incorporate virtual game-like elements into their customer and employee engagement strategies? As your participants interact with your virtual gamification program, they receive instantaneous, emotionally gratifying feedback while performing behaviors that drive your desired business results. The more compelling your gamification experience, the more inclined your participants are to repeat the experience and continuously interact with your brand.

What Are Examples of Gamification Strategy?

As we mentioned earlier, gamification strategy plays a large role in the structure of our incentive programs. With customizable incentive software, our clients are able to incorporate a variety of gamification tools into their unique reward program structure and utilize them throughout the lifecycle of the program. Examples of gamification strategy in action include:

    • A virtual leaderboard displaying top sales performers, promoting healthy competition, and improving sales activity among both the middle majority and upper tiered salespeople.
    • Points-based quizzes and trivia to effectively educate channel partners on all the best features of your product, enhancing their ability to sell it.
    • On-the-spot recognition certificates that reward exemplary employee behavior instantaneously, keeping employees engaged with the element of surprise and spontaneity.
    • A virtual scratch-off or spin-to-win wheel rewarding channel partners for enrolling in the program, creating a positive association for participants from the first moment they interact with your brand.
    • A social media-style recognition platform that allows employees to share likes and shoutouts, inspiring community and collaboration.

Gamification Strategy 3

One of our top clients, a manufacturer of plumbing and HVAC products, was able to utilize the gamification strategy as a way to influence contractors and plumbing professionals to purchase a particular product in their lineup. Facing a steady drop in competitor prices for a specific set of tubing, they needed to show contractors that their product was more valuable while keeping prices stable. With the help of performance tracking, point-based quizzes, and quick-point rewards for large tubing purchases, this manufacturer increased tubing sales by 15%.

Increase Engagement and Productivity with Gamification

Ready to harness the power of gamification? Speak with a representative today for more details on our customer loyalty or employee recognition programs. Our incentive experts offer free consultations, and will gladly take the time to discuss your organization, your goals, and create a plan for your company’s growth!

Boost engagement with gamification.

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About Mark Herbert

Mark Herbert is President and CEO of Incentive Solutions. He has more than 30 years of experience overseeing business operations within the incentives industry, helping companies increase channel sales, build customer loyalty, motivate employees, and grow their business.