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Dec 12, 2012
5 Examples ofGamification Done Right Proprietary and Confidential © 2012 Maritz
Gamification is widely defined as the use of game-like mechanics (such as points, badges, leaderboards) within the contextof non-game experiences (such as loyalty programs, banking, education) to drive participation and engagement. Somecommonly cited examples of gamification include TurboTax, Foursquare, and Microsoft’s Ribbon Hero. Proprietary and Confidential © 2012 Maritz 1
Most social networking sites are adopting gamification as a way to increase participation. This is important because it serves asevidence that social experiences are simply not enough to keep a site alive, dynamic, and interesting. While it is important to give yourusers the opportunity to self-express and connect, adding in the opportunity to compete, collaborate and achieve has not only becomeimportant, it’s become expected. Human motivation is not an easy thing to understand, but game designers have it nailed. This can 2 Proprietary and Confidential © 2012 Maritzonly mean one thing for anyone designing digital experiences for the next generation…
It’s time to think like a game designer. Proprietary and Confidential © 2012 Maritz 3
Thinking like a game designer means leveraging game-like dynamics to drive a deeper emotional connection within the context ofyour brand. Game mechanics such as progress indicators and leaderboards should be utilized very prescriptively depending on howyou want your players to feel about their online experience. Game designers are masters of invoking our emotions, and that’s whatmakes game play addictive. Proprietary and Confidential © 2012 Maritz 4
Do you remember your high score in Mario Brothers? No? But you probably remember the way it made you feel when you beat yourpersonal high score. Better yet, the way it made you feel when you beat your best friend’s high score. The most successfulapplications of gamification invoke emotion in a way that is relevant and memorable – as opposed to layering game mechanics on topof an existing experience. Here are 5 examples of brands who have executed on this extremely well:Proprietary and Confidential © 2012 Maritz 5
5. The FitBit The FitBit is more than a pedometer, it’s a totally gamified wellness tracker. The FitBit measures your physical activity and renders visual representations of your progress using mechanics such badges and points. There are achievements and milestones to unlock such as 10,000 daily steps and 50 lifetime miles. The FitBit drives a competitive dynamic through the use of leaderboards and taps into your social networks to keep the experience interesting. Proprietary and Confidential © 2012 Maritz Fun fact: did you know that earning social acceptance activates the same center of the brain as earning money?
4. Recyclebank At its’ core, Recyclebank is a loyalty program. This program rewards members for purchasing products with the Recyclebank logo on the package and for participating in interactive quizzes about living sustainably. This program could have easily given me 10 points to redeem in their catalog, but instead I am asked to “pledge.” Instead of viewing my progress, I can “see my impact.” While not specifically a game mechanic, this is a perfect example of how game designers view a call to action vs. how traditional 2012 Maritz Proprietary and Confidential © loyalty 7 marketers view a call to action. The call to action here is about the greater good, and so is the program. Very well played.
3. NFL Fantasy Football There is no better example of extreme loyalty than extreme sports fans. The NFL didn’t need a loyalty program to drive engagement, but they gamified the online Fantasy Football experience anyway. Just by participating, members of this program are earning an emotional currency which can only be spent with the NFL. This encapsulates the concept of loyalty. The end game here is not the squishy top pen. The squishy top pen is a tool of convenience which indicates one’s ability to choose how he or she is rewarded (another2012 Maritz Proprietary and Confidential © important pillar 8 of motivation). At the end of the day, this game is really about building a community of brand enthusiasts. Well done.
2. HON World The HON Company manufactures and distributes furniture through a nationwide network of loyal dealers and retailers. This network relies on the HON Portal (pictured above) to access important product information, marketing materials, and sales tools. HON wanted to acknowledge and reward the successes of their sales partners, so they launched an online community known as HON World. HON World is a totally gamified experience within the HON Portal that allows players to complete missions, earn andvirtual currency, and 9 Proprietary a Confidential © 2012 Maritz achieve status all within the context of the brand. HON World is where you go to become HON Ready.
1. eBay Ebay is the most successful gamified application in history which is why I’ve named it #1 on the list. Make no mistake, the drive to acquire is the end game here and Ebay doesn’t pollute it with other fluff. The countdown clock increases your likelihood to take a risk while other bidders drive a competitive dynamic within the game. To prevent cheating (fraud), feedback scores are indicated in the form of star ratings next to a seller’s avatar. Credibility must be earned in this game while the rules are clear Confidential © 2012 Maritz all. This Proprietary and and enforced for 10 is a perfect example of the right blend of game mechanics to drive relevant dynamics.
The takeaway here is that gamification is most effective when game mechanics are chosen with a great deal of attention to thedynamics you want to drive within your brand, website, campaign or program. If personal achievement is the end game, choose a setof game mechanics that will serve as visual representations in support of the end goal. Provide rapid feedback cycles and relevantcontent through social networks. And most importantly, view your calls to action as an opportunityProprietary and Confidential © 2012 Maritz for players to write the next 11chapter in the story of your game.