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How Gamification can resurrect your Brand from the dead
CloudCherry | Featured | April 20, 2016
“I hate games ” said no one ever.
Games! I mean, who doesn’t love games? They’re a getaway from the daily monotony, a vital mood lifter and a much needed time killer. But beyond all that, games are engrossing, engaging and exciting.
There’s no denying that games have been traditionally conceived as a timepass routine. But, modern-day businesses are doing their best to change all that. Yes, businesses have started introducing a game-like feel across customer touchpoints to add a unique dimension to customer engagement, as a means to drive revenue. Can you believe it?
Enter the term ‘GAMIFICATION ’ – one of the most widely used and much celebrated concepts in recent times.
The term gamification has been floating around for quite some years now. But it was only until recently that it has grown in prominence, owing to the sudden surge in the need to create a unique, personalized and engaging experience for the customer.
There’s a common misconception about the term gamification. A lot of people think that gamification is used to denote games being created to solve a business need. But that’s hardly close to what it really means. So, what exactly does gamification mean?
According to Bunchball, gamification is the process of taking something that already exists – a website, an enterprise application, an online community – and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement and loyalty.
In very plain terms, Gamification is about adding a certain motivational factor to a pre-existing experience, in order to ‘pull’ customers, through the use of game-related techniques that create curiosity and drive engagement.
Now that we’ve established some clarity on what gamification is all about, let’s look at the reasons why a consumer-facing business should adopt this practise.
It’s important to make good money as a business. Revenue is precisely what separates the brands that succeed from those which don’t. And creating a sustained revenue model works only when you give something back to your customers. Otherwise, what’s there to show that you’re respecting the people with whom you conduct business? Why should customers avail your product/service if all the love and empathy is pretty much one-sided?
So, how can Brands give something back to their customers? For instance, if there’s a newly released product feature, get your customers’ attention by gamifying it; create an engaging guide around this feature and ask users to experience it first-hand. And don’t forget to award points to customers who try it out. It serves as motivation for them to stay engaged with your brand.
This is simply how gamification works – it’s mainly about giving something back to the ‘player’, the customer, in the case. Gamification provides a business the ideal platform to showcase its empathy and make a strong statement that it truly cares about the experience of its customers.
Nowadays, haven’t the usual marketing gimmicks gotten boring? Isn’t it time for brands to go off-course and market their products in a more engaging way? Agreed, marketing is still about talking benefits rather than features. But it’s about how interestingly you convey these benefits that makes all the difference.
Gamification paves way for this by setting a clear-cut divergent path to your marketing outlook. It adds an element of fun, dynamism, and opens limitless possibilities to how you market a product or service and that is something customers, especially the millennials, are looking for.
Here’s something Cadbury did around the time of release of this year’s magnum opus – Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
If gamification can give your marketing team a facelift, so can it to your sales cohort. After all, marketing and sales are two functions that are interdependent. Sales teams can create more engaging pitches for prospective clients and customers if they have gamified content to work with. And since sales teams are like representatives of the whole organization, propagating the gamified language only reflects on the positive and vibrant culture existing within the company.
Tell me something: how many of you give feedback as customers at say, a retail store, or a website or within a mobile app? I’d imagine very few.
Why are customers hesitant to give feedback? The primary reason for this is that they consider it to be waste of time unless and until there’s some incentive involved. In fact, according to SurveyGizmo, external surveys generate an average response rate of just 10-15%.
If you want to disprove these numbers, it’s time to start gamifying your feedback surveys. Distribute loyalty points to customers who ‘fully complete’ your feedback forms and create a ranking system within your customer base – the customers who leave feedback consistently should be at the top! Also, use GIFs and chic videos/images in your surveys; this can be done in electronic surveys like web surveys, tablet or smartphone surveys.
The secret to happy customers is having happy employees. What this literally translates to is that employee experience is a very important aspect of any organization.
While there are many different methods that companies use to drive employee engagement, gamification is one of the most proven techniques in this space. Design a compatible work environment and offer employees something they can look forward to beyond the payslip. You can even make the appraisal system more relaxed, by not rating employee performance solely on completion of tasks within deadlines.
Take the example of FORD – one of the world’s largest automotive giants. The US-based organization adopted a gamified approach, with help from Bunchball, in order to motivate its employees, better the employee experience and all this in turn positively impacted the customer experience. Check out the complete study here.
Don’t you think that the ultimate goal of any business strategy is to get a sizeable ROI, either directly or indirectly? This motive is no different when it comes to quantifying your gamification efforts.
In an age where the customer is faced with limitless choices, gamification can serve as your most edgy competitive differentiator, continuously driving customer engagement. When this happens, when customers tend to be hooked onto your brand because they feel the brand experience is more exciting and unique, it converts over time into a huge ROI.
They start recommending your brand to their friends/family, positive word-of-mouth becomes second nature and all this naturally permeates as an organic marketing campaign for your brand.
With brands emerging left, right and centre as competition, it’s no longer about just delivering a quality product/service. Presentation matters – how you serve the customer is equally important. Here’s where the concept of gamification kicks in. Gamification sure is an add-on dimension that companies might be hesitant to explore. But make no mistake, as it’s here to stay for a long time ahead. And companies that do invest proactively in gamification will witness tangible results without a doubt. Because hey, who doesn’t like games? Get gamified!