In a recent post, you learned what gamification in an ecommerce context means, but reading about it and understanding it are two different things. Below we show you how gamification was used by big-name companies to increase their competitive advantage.
As mentioned in the previous article, there are three key elements to gamification: a defined challenge, clear instructions and a tangible reward. Although Nike has always been good at engaging its customers, their Nike+ initiative is a cut above the rest. Their customers use the Nike+ software systems to track metrics like distance, pace, calories burned, etc. as well as a running history so they can adjust running goals. Not only does it encourage users to brag about their accomplishments on social media (enhancing the Nike brand), it also compiles valuable information for the Nike marketing team which makes Nike+ an ideal example of gamification.
Steam Trading Card Initiative
Part of Steam’s genius is their understanding of their audience. Steam is a multi-player platform for distributing games online. So, how do you use gamification on seasoned gamers? By introducing the Trading Card Initiative, which plays on gamers enhanced desire to “collect” and “complete”. Users of Steam get cards by purchasing games, then their goal is to trade with other gamers until they have a full set. Once that happens, they are able to unlock rewards and discounts. In this instance, gamification works to increase sales (gamers will buy more games in the hopes of getting the cards they need) as well as an improved sense of community as customers search for new people to trade with.
M&M Pretzel Game
M&Ms posted an image of a pretzel hidden in a sea of M&Ms in 2013. The game portion of this marketing ploy was simply to identify where the pretzel was within the image, but it garnered the company 25,000 new likes and had people talking and sharing the image for weeks afterwards. This type of game is creative, easy to understand and cheap to construct, but it plays on people’s desire to compete. This is a genius approach to achieving the first rule of good gamification – an interesting challenge!
One of the earliest and most successful gamification stories comes from the Duolingo app which launched in 2011. They were able to transform the sometimes frustrating process of learning a new language into an interactive game. You can lose lives, gain points and hit new levels of achievement as you improve skills and vocabulary. The Duolingo app is truly innovative in how it incentivizes users to continue learning, as well as rewards them for successes along the way. Almost the entire app uses some form of gamification and its popularity is evident, especially after being named the 2013 iPhone App of the Year.
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