People love to play games – in more ways than one, you might say. So it was only a matter of time before the world of gaming attracted the attention of the corporate world. From NBC to Toyota to BravoTV, Playboy and Hilton, companies are harnessing the power of addictive game techniques to build engagement with their brands. Gamification hasn’t yet entered the common lexicon but it probably will be the next big thing in corporate strategy. The idea behind gamification is that people are addicted to games whether it’s Farmville on Facebook or Bubble Shooter on the iPad or Catch Phrase on family game night. Okay, maybe not Catch Phrase. The reasoning goes that given the choice between visiting a “stale” corporate website and playing a game, most people would choose – well what if the stale corporate website was the game? It wouldn’t be so stale.
Experts in the field of game mechanics believe that gamifying corporate sites will generate more page views and increase customer engagement with brands. What badges do you have, again? At BravoTV there are the “Cheftestants,” and viewers can earn points and trophies by completing certain actions on the Bravo site. Folgers invites musicians to send in their take on the brand’s jingle. Moxie, which sells women’s clothes awards status to those who suggest items to stock. Other companies insert games featuring their products on their sites. In one case, a food vendor in New York awarded those now famous badges to customers for return visits. Business was up 15 to 20 percent – allegedly. Gamification is the next iteration of the loyalty program using game design techniques.
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