Gamification sounds like a made-up word, doesn’t it? Well, I am here today to inform you that it is completely legitimate and probably something you should know about.

Some of you are probably wondering how a process that sounds like it would be appealing to a 13-year old gamer could be beneficial to your business. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that part, but first, what the heck is gamification anyway?

To put it simply, gamification is the application of game-design elements and principles in a non-game context. So, how does this help you?

Have any of you downloaded a game on your phone, believing it will just be a mild amusement to pass the time until it takes over your entire life and nothing else matters but getting to the next level? There’s your answer. Elements of gaming are fun! They are precisely designed that way to encourage users to keep playing and engaging. Now, what happens when you apply those same fun gaming elements to your user experience? Chances are, your audience will be a lot more engaged and motivated to take the desired actions.

Games Don’t Mean Gamification

Let’s make one thing very clear, gamification does not mean creating a game for your business. Gamification is not about creating something entirely new. It is about leveraging the engaging and motivational techniques that make games so addictive and using them to enhance your already established, core user experience.

What makes games so effective is their ability to fulfill humans’ desire for community, feedback, achievement, and reward. These are the main motivations that gamification strives to create for users as well.

An Example: Starbucks Loyalty Program

Gamification is a major emerging trend and probably something you’ve seen lots of before without realizing it.

The loyalty program featured on the Starbucks app is a great example. By rewarding users with stars for each purchase, which can then be redeemed for food and drinks, Starbucks is feeding into our desires for rewards and achievement. The reward levels also mimic the gaming elements of working towards a goal and leveling up.

The app is also a great space to feel as though you are apart of the Starbucks community and provide feedback to the brand.

How Can Gamification Help You?

As you can see, gamification is a powerful tool which leverages the effective (and fun!) elements of gaming. By creating a fun experience that challenges your users or motivates them to win rewards, you will be able to connect with your audience and propel them further down the funnel to conversion.

With gamification, you are making engagement with your brand an entertaining experience. We all know that the charismatic person in the office with the best jokes, who throws the best parties, will have better chances at making friends than the person who sits quietly in the corner.

I hope this gives you a better sense of what gamification is, and has maybe even made you curious enough to try it yourself! Not sure where to start? I’d love to help. Contact me today and let’s discuss how gamification can enhance your user interaction and your bottom line.

What are your thoughts? Have you seen any interesting applications of gamification lately? I’d love to check them out!