“The future of creativity and innovation is gamification” ~ Gabe Zichermann
Gamification is now popular in several industries right now. For those unfamiliar with the term ‘gamification’, it means the application of game design principles and video game elements to things outside gaming, chiefly business processes.
Gamification utilizes some of the same concepts which make video games an irresistible experience. It got its start when people thought of different ways in which the same principles could be used outside the realm of gaming entertainment. Thus gamification in business was born.
Now, gamification is a billion-dollar industry. In 2019, the industry was reportedly worth $7.17 billion. It is now being increasingly used in a variety of industries and many top and small companies have embraced it with open hands, to improve their businesses.
The idea of gamification has emerged as a modernized trend in recent years and the benefits of gamification apps in business, marketing are massive. It has drawn interest both from academics and practitioners, because of digitalization of our everyday lives. Now, games are a crucial part of our life, and everyone plays them whether these are console or mobile, or in the offline world. For many adults, gaming is an important leisure activity. Research says global games market grew in 2019 to an astonishing 120 billion USD. This truly shows that the world is harnessing the power of play.
Additionally, Gartner, a world leading IT research and advisory firm, predicted in their ‘Gamification 2020 report’, that gamification apps combined with other trends and technologies will serve a significant impact on: i) innovation, ii) globalization of higher education, iii) emergence of customer engagement platforms, and iv) design of employee performance. By 2011, Gartner also officially claimed, “Gamification is near the peak of Gartner Hype Cycles, and like most new trends and technologies, the initial hype surrounding the trend creates unrealistic expectations for success, and many poor implementations follow.”
Now, let’s talk about the fundamentals of gamification. Gamification is the use of game elements and game thinking in non-game environments to increase target behavior and engagement. The value of gamification isn’t only limited to companies that are in a commercial environment. It can be used in any business or organization to increase target behavior. Lots of people get confused by the term gamification as the game part of the dictionary-recognized word is somewhat misleading. Many associate gamification with gaming. But, gamification is quite different and much more logical and scientific than gaming. The concept of gamification was basically developed from the games we have been playing since our childhood. It’s the practice of incorporating the ideas from gaming, programs, and behavioral economics, with the aim of driving user engagement. The same fundamentals are used in today’s sophisticated gamification apps focusing on engagement and rewards of the games.
Gamification has the power to transform user experience by surrounding users with a gamified system. In some industries, gamification has started replacing long-waiting marketing processes and educational techniques which have lost the influence in areas like organizational performance, social change, brand relationship and talent development. Many companies started realizing that games can be very powerful in changing human behavior. Therefore it’s not surprising that companies like Amazon & LinkedIn have incorporated game elements on their websites and in their services.
Gamification has been with us for some time now, but it’s so versatile that it applies to every kind of business. The beauty of gamification is that it can lend itself to many different purposes like marketing, company culture building, project management, recruitment.
Gamification utilizes the latest research findings in behavioral psychology to foster positive human behaviour. It frees the resource-intensive rational part of our mind from having to make decisions all the time and instead uses a few modern techniques to influence a much primitive part of the brain that has a huge influence on our decision making.
Below we are listing a few common proven gamification techniques used by businesses:
Points act as a positive feedback to the users. In both games and gamified applications, the player receives points when they perform a positive action. This receiving of points further motivates the player to repeat these actions.
Badges are testaments of a user’s achievements. Usually, players receive badges once they complete a specific challenge or accumulate a set of points. Once a badge is won, the user can show it off to others. This provides both a personal and social motivation.
Progress Graphs, as the name, suggests marks progress. They show users how much they have improved over time and how far they have come since they initially started. This feeling of progress is a very good way to motivate people.
Leaderboards pit users’ achievements within a game or app against each other. It compares the achievements of all the users and ranks them according to certain metrics. By using leaderboards gamified application developers can foster healthy competition among their users, which is a good source of motivation.
Teams introduce a non-competitive social element to gamified applications. Instead of being competitive, it makes users cooperative with each other. Members of a team can support and help each other while each of them pursues their own goals.
There are several examples of these principles of gamification at work. Below we list a few of them:
1. US Army – America’s Army
Use of Gamification in: Recruitment
US Army has developed a recruitment tool for America’s Army. The project was initiated back in 1999 and was released in 2002. After 6 years, US Army came up with four transportable “Virtual Army Experience” units and built a powerful recruiting tool. Candidates interested in enrolling can download the game for free and test their skills in this multiplayer strategic shooter environment to see if they’ve reached the target or not. Now it’s also using gamification apps to promote awareness of the U.S. armed forces.
Use of Gamification in: Customer engagement
NikeFuel is a proprietary fitness metric system developed by Nike. It works in tandem with apps and products from Nike and allows users to keep track of their fitness.
Inside the app, users receive several badges and awards based on their level of activity. If the user earns 5,000 NikeFuel points, for instance, they win the 5K badge. Similarly, if they earn 10,000 NikeFuel points, they win the 10K badge.
It also allows users to track their fitness goals and compare them with those of your friends. Users can also compare their progress with the leaderboard in the NikeFuel community.
Use of Gamification: Advancing financial independence
Mint is a financial management application available for smartphones and PCs. It helps users manage their finances and reach various financial goals.
Mint uses gamification techniques to make the financial management experience better. It allows users to set various savings and other financial goals and helps them follow through.
The app also gives users various financial goals itself. And once the user achieves it, the app gives them various virtual rewards. This provides the user with a sense of achievement and motivates them to tackle an even bigger goal next, and so on.
4. Starbucks – My Starbucks Rewards
Use of Gamification in Customer Engagement
Starbucks’ gamification app has been a huge success. It has helped Starbucks to market themselves in a much more unique way.
In the app, Starbucks customers can earn 1 point every time they make a purchase of a set amount using their Starbucks card. As they earn more points they earn, they can avail special rewards.
Earning points also allows users to get to higher levels. Currently, there are 3 of them: Welcome, Green, and Gold. Users start at Welcome and climb higher as they receive more points. And the higher they climb, the better their rewards will be.
5. Kaplan University
Use of Gamification in: Educational achievement
Khan Academy is an educational website/ app. It is used by people from all over the world to learn subjects like math and science. Khan Academy uses a well-proven set of gamification techniques to motivate its users.
Chief among them is the progress graph. It shows users which lessons they have completed under a particular subject, in a tree-like figure. The visual representation of the lessons one has already finished and ones that they are yet to finish, motivates users to learn even more, by showing both the progress they have made and the road ahead at the same time.
Besides, they also use points and badges. Users can earn points by watching the lesson videos and completing various exercises. And by completing certain achievements users can earn badges.
Use of Gamification in : Building employee loyalty
Keas is a wellness application that helps organizations reduce group insurance costs and reduce overall sick leaves. It uses a few gamification tactics, which the founders of the app have revealed makes people check-in with the app an average 10 times every month.
Keas gives employees a bunch of tasks that they can complete. And upon completion, they earn certain rewards. Employees can similarly help their co-workers achieve their goals as well, which is an excellent usage of the teamwork principle mentioned before.
7. Puma Gunners
Use of Gamification in: Customer engagement
Puma Gunners is a gamified AR game released for Puma and Arsenal by Juego Studios.
The app was released to coincide with the Puma Gunners event held in Dubai, where people were given the chance to shoot a cannon to a new Arsenal jersey to win trophies and rewards.
The game released by Juego Studios was a virtual version of the same concept. The users had to shoot a virtual cannon onto a virtual jersey and hit the right target.
The app successfully helped market the real-life event held in Dubai and received over 14,000 downloads in just a few days.
(you can check the Puma Gunners created by Juego Studios)
Above examples show that gamification apps can serve many objectives and if properly implemented, it can boost a company’s performance or reputation and help the brand’s popularity on social media.
Gabe Zichermann says, “Gamification in the work environment is really about how to make people’s jobs better and how to make people’s work life better.”
Gamification has the power to increase any business results, either by motivating your staffs or by incorporating with your products. Research vice president at Gartner, Brian Burke says, “Most attempts at gamification currently miss the mark, but successful and sustainable gamification can convert customers into fans, turn work into fun, or make learning a joy. The potential is enormous.”
We, at Juego Studios, provide excellent gamification for business services. We’ll identify your various business needs and build an application that will truly gamify your business processes.
If you are looking for efficient and creative gamification solution provider, check our GAMIFICATION service page.