The Gamification of Business

Gamification allows companies to stand out in the overcrowded digital scene.

This article was written by Marcello de Mello, partner at Nobiletec.

Gamification is the application of game-like elements to some sort of challenge, that generally involves reward, but it is also expected that it should be engaging and fun, like playing a game. In business, gamification means the use of these concepts to boost innovation, build effective marketing campaigns and drive value.

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However, you should not be deceived by the name – companies are surely not playing games.

What makes games so compelling?

Competition: through a system with milestones and rankings, participants can share and compare achievements and performance against both their own goals and others’ progress, which is a major motivational factor that sustain engagement.

Status: gamers like recognition of others within their community, so, immersing them in a virtual reality environment along with their friends or contacts, with enough interaction between them, will unleash a tidal wave of interest.

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Companies take the essence of what makes games so alluring (a shared sense of purpose, challenge and reward), decode the mechanics that make them work (personalization, rankings, etc.) and then apply these mechanics to a multitude of imaginative initiatives to help enhance customer loyalty, motivate shoppers to buy and provide more compelling mechanisms for retaining and encouraging talent.

Many gamification examples have proven that it is worth a try for any company that wants to leverage its business.

A few of these examples:

  • Nike created Nike+ to motivate fitness fans to take their workouts to the next level
  • The US Army created Virtual Army Experience to attract new recruits and promote awareness of the armed forces
  • Kaplan University implemented gamification solutions to encourage more engaged participation. Results show higher student grades, decreased rates of students failing to complete courses and programs.
  • IBM created Innov8. It has become a big lead generator to the company.
  • Google has been using gamification to encourage its employees to submit travel expense information on a timely and regular basis.

As companies struggle to stand out in the overcrowded digital scene, they must pursue new ways to break the barriers that consumers have raised to filter out the enormous amount of information that floods them, and that is where enters the appeal of game mechanics: gamification.

There is no right place to begin, but neither is there any time to lose. The advantages of using game mechanics in business might take time to be seen, but, in an interactive world, they are likely to hand tremendous competitive advantages.

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