Understanding Gamification in Marketing with examples

Learn the concept of Gamification specifically in Marketing and the increasing usage of the concept by the brands today – all in the way… Gamification in marketing,

Before we start, just a quick note: Please watch all the videos in this post, they’re deliberately added in here in order for you to experience gamification in full. We promise at the end of this post, you will be in love with the concept. Let’s begin!

Gamification is as it sounds simply – gamifying something. Games are known to evoke thrill, curiosity, and attention in humans. And so, gamifying means designing tasks for your customers, having certain score set for these tasks, and finally rewarding them based on their performance. Gamification in Marketing is thus a way via which a company can directly interact with their users. And, this is precisely why every successful company in the world today is starting to use this concept more and more. Some of the famous examples of companies using gamification in marketing are Facebook, Volkswagen, Coca-Cola, Google, etc. Before we proceed, let’s swiftly understand the history of this concept below.

Fun Theory – Volkswagen – Piano Staircase
How it all began:

In 1908, it was the boy scout movement that started awarding badges to their scouts based on their performance in the organization. In 1981, American Airlines sought to encourage customer loyalty by offering rewards for being a frequent flier. The initiative is known as AAdvantage. This reward system is prevalent amongst almost all the airlines and is making headway into different businesses like coffee shops, shopping malls, etc. as well. This “fun” reward system started to pick up steam in the early 2000s and businesses acknowledged the potential of this system. In 2002, the term “Gamification” was coined by Nick Pelling while he was designing game-like user interface for ATMs, mobile phones, etc.

Related: Take a look at how brands are improving customer experience using gamification through AR

Post 2002, Gamification started appearing in various websites as an extension to improve the user base and interaction on the website. By 2009, Gamification was technically all over the place. Websites like Foursquare (an app that let’s users collect badges and other achievements) started using Gamification in full! Naturally, as more companies adopted the concept a lot of research was conducted to understand benefits. In 2015, Gallup research stated the alarming engagement of the employees with their work. This led to HRs turning their attention towards gamification in hope of better engagement.

The fun Theory – Volkswagen – Bottle Bank Arcade
All of these events led to where Gamification is today. In 2020, we see gamification everywhere:  
  1. Your walking applications set our leader boards that motivate you to walk
  2. Facebook using different badges (like top fans, etc.) to improve engagement
  3. Course providers time you and reward you based on the hours you study online
  4. Food delivery partners like Swiggy, Zomato, etc. award you loyalty points, discounts and rewards
  5. Payment apps like Paytm, Google Pay grant you points when you complete your payment from their apps
  6. E-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart reward you loyalty points. These points lead you to claim discounts
  7. Even TV shows gamify their learning content for kids by the way of quizzes, etc.
Gamifying Coca-Cola – Unlock the 007 inside you

These are just a few examples. Volkswagen has this entire initiative called the fun theory, check that out if you’d like! We’ve included a few more videos from the theory. With the context and theory set, let’s now watch one final one from Volkswagen. We personally loved this one.

The Fun Theory – Volkswagen – The World’s Deepest Bin

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