Gamification is the process of bringing gaming elements into non-gaming environments. It works best in business and marketing, where the interactive and addictive mechanics from games can be used to attract and engage a new audience.
Newcastle-based IT solutions company TSG has recently launched a gamified promotional video for their IT support service named SystemCare, but the company is far from the first to bring elements of games into their business. Here are some standout examples of how gamification can boost a business.
U.S Army Recruitment
The U.S Army wanted to increase recruits and awareness of their activity. Alongside a PR campaign, the military created a game titled “America’s Army.” The title was released in 2002 and has since went on to spawn 41 versions and updates. It has won many awards, among which is the Guinness world record for the most downloaded war game.
The Nike + Experience
The nike+ app launched a gamification revolution for the brand, allowing users to achieve scores and stats through Nike’s dedicated range of fitness products and then brag about their stats on social media, adding in both interactivity and engagement to their brand.
The actual gaming elements of the app have been copied/replicated by lots of other brands. A popular running app, Zombies! Run, sees the player listening to audiobooks of a zombie invasion as they jog, with sections where you have to sprint and collect pickups and drops as you’re running.
The app has since grown into a range that includes the Fuelband.
Steam trading cards.
Valve run Steam, easily the most popular game distribution platform PC users. The application allows users to buy and download games and manage their library through one program and has become almost synonymous with PC gaming.
The Steam Trading Card initiative was used to increase engagement and interactivity with the brand. It is the perfect example of gamification, as it employs a collectible nature to allow gamers to trade and complete sets of their favourite game cards.
Because games motivate users by rewarding them, Steam trading cards also offered further appeal thanks to the rewards on offer for completing a full set – avatars, backgrounds and discounts that could be redeemed in the shop.
M&M spot the difference.
M&M’s have a good marketing team behind them, as evident from their humorous adverts that show on both television and the silver screen. However, the company witnessed a huge surge in popularity by incorporating some simple gamification into its social media strategy.
The ‘Spot the pretzl’ game featured an image with hundreds of M&M’s and users were challenged to spot a single pretzl in the picture. Despite the simple premise and lack of reward, the task tapped into the public’s desire to be tested, and they responded by adding 25,000 likes to 6,000 shares to the content piece. Simple and effective.