What a unique idea! Connecting with your Customer – who would have thought of that? It has only been in the last few years that companies have realized the importance of having their Customer engaged with their brand and having a Customer Centric focus.

One of the most unique and rewarding methods of reaching out to your Customer and having them involved in your brand, is the use of Gamification. What is Gamification? Gamification is the concept of applying game techniques and mechanics to engage and motivate your Customer. It is a means of having your Customer become emotionally connected to your brand, say “Yes” to it, and pass it on to others. Gamification dips into the basic needs and desire of the Customer to compete, be involved, achieve status, collaboration and win rewards.

There are many companies embracing this marketing strategy to the maximum. Nike Plus allows you to track your accomplishments, challenge others, share your achievements and many other aspects which are elements of gamification. The structure of eBay’s competitive bidding and feedback system and Woot’s Daily Deal system are all examples of Gamification mechanics and theory. “My Starbucks Rewards” uses gamification to incentivize and reward customer loyalty. Some of the best uses of Gamification are by smaller companies that concentrate on using their Customer Value Proposition as the heart of the strategy. Traeger Grills, a high end grill manufacturer has had several 2 minute video contests on “why you love your Traeger and can’t live without it”. The number of entries is in the thousands. The company picks the top videos and then has the “Traeger Community” vote for the winner. The prize money is $2000 for 1st, $1000 for 2nd, and $500 for 3rd. With a total cost of $3500, they have thousands of loyal Customers telling the world about how they love Traeger Grills!

Engaging your employees through Gamification is another useful aspect of this tool. It can be used in training techniques, employee retention, attracting new talent, productivity and innovation to name a few areas.

This is just a glimpse of some of the elements of Gamification and the types of companies that are using it successfully today. From the examples given you can see that there are multiple programs that can be executed to help you connect with your Customer. Have a contest, create a vote, develop a group, or a new version of a loyalty program. No matter the size of your company, this is an avenue to explore. Gamification is a creative and innovative methodology to help you connect with your customer, improve your company culture, and increase profitability. Try it! You may like it!


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Sources: Badgeville, Technorati, Geoff Simon, Gartner, Forbes