Why Gamification Works

/ 21 October 2020

Gamification is the use of game-style mechanics that help to engage audiences and encourage desired behaviours that can benefit both the business and the consumer. When applied to different processes and tasks, the consumer’s enjoyment is increased, leading to greater engagement with the brand.

It creates a rewarding experience

Humans are naturally very competitive, we want to feel motivated to complete tasks and the reason why gamification works well at achieving this is through extrinsic motivation. This is when gamified mechanics are used to encourage consumers to reinforce a habit or specific behaviour by offering them a reward.

In a recent survey published by the DMA, 58% of British consumers (an increase of 11% since 2016) are willing to share data with brands, in return for benefits. This is particularly useful in marketing where businesses benefit from receiving data about their most engaged customers to better target future campaigns. 

Gamification works well here because a combination of survey and feedback mechanics are able to progressively and contextually capture insight data as part of ongoing value exchange. Consumers are more engaged and motivated to share data about themselves when offered rewards such as symbolic badges or redeemable points.

Similarly, in retail, customers can be offered shop discounts or early access to a sale in return for leaving a purchased item review or signing up to the company newsletter. Ultimately, why gamification works very well in both of these examples is because it helps to engage the consumers, creating loyalty that could then lead to higher sales. 

Users feel inherent satisfaction

Gamification also works well if offering a reward to consumers is not possible or needed. Through the use of intrinsic motivation, businesses are able to encourage consumers to want to continuously engage with the company or the product, simply because it makes them feel good and they’re enjoying the experience. 

For example, many people have chosen to start a new hobby recently, such as learning a new language. Why gamification works well in this instance is because it can offer regular and supportive messages that are sent through the app to congratulate the user for reaching specific milestones or completing a level in the course. 

The consumer is then provided with a rewarding experience where they feel satisfied, creating a positive psychological response. By feeling like they’re succeeding, they will then be more inclined to voluntarily take part, continuously use the service again or recommend it to others.

Who has it worked for?

In order to achieve a level of customer loyalty as well as engage and understand their customers better, Zizzi used gamification to receive self-reported data. Doing this enabled them to personalise future marketing to encourage them to dine more in the future. 

In this instance, gamification worked by creating a fun ‘board-game’ which rewarded players with extra turns if they played each day. By providing an incentive such as an opportunity to win a holiday, it works by making the customer want to keep playing in hope of winning more prizes and in turn, giving more data to the company. 

By learning more about what their customer wants through this game-style technique, Zizzi was able to modify their menu and create options that customers revealed they wanted which, in turn, built strong brand loyalty and increased customer retention.

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