When we are having fun and are challenged, chemicals (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins) are secreted in our brains. These are chemicals that the brain craves and that affects our sense of happiness positively. When something causes our brain to excrete these chemicals, we will also automatically remember it better. If you contribute to a potential customer secreting these chemicals, you give them a positive customer experience and increase the probability that they remember you.
As humans, we are programmed to enjoy games and competitions - they entertain, and they challenge. We have a fundamental desire to win, and we are motivated by reward. When we play games or participate in competitions, the previously mentioned chemicals are excreted in our brains. Therefore, gamification is an excellent tool for creating positive customer experiences and ensuring that customers remember you.
The general definition of gamification is that it is a process in which gaming elements are added to something that is not already a game - to increase user engagement, joy, and loyalty. In the following, we have listed a few gamification examples to draw a clearer picture of what it is and how it concretely improves the customer experience and creates brand awareness.
Gamification, as an effective marketing strategy, increased rapidly with the invention of smartphones. According to Tech Crunch, approx. 1/3 of the world's population plays mobile games, and 50 percent of all app users play games, making this category as popular as music apps such as Spotify and Apple Music.
Many have seen the potential in the gaming mechanisms in mobile gaming, such as winning trophies and rewards. Therefore, today, several "non-game" activities, such as education, fitness, etc. have adopted mobile game mechanisms. An example is the fitness app Nike Training Club, where you can track and set personal goals for your workout. You win trophies when you achieve personal milestones. It could be, for example, that you have had the highest training frequency in one month, that you have run your fastest time or have cycled your longest distance.
Although it is the invention of smartphones that has boosted gamification and that through a mobile app, it is probably possible to reach most users; we also see gamification with the same mechanisms on company websites. One example is a charity organization that presented a quiz on its website, where it was possible to win a new mobile phone. The purpose was to collect permissions.
When you give your customers an experience beyond the transaction itself, you create a relationship with them. When you tell your customers that you have noticed their interaction with your business and reward them, they feel valued.
People enjoy being rewarded - whether it's by receiving points, discounts, or products. Therefore, it may be useful to create a loyalty program where customers are rewarded when they perform specific actions. An example is Matas' loyalty program Club Matas, where customers earn points every time they shop, and so-called "stripes" every time they shop for more than DKK 200. When enough points have been collected, they can be used in a points shop, and when enough stripes have been collected, they can be used to choose a personal benefit - e.g., more points or a discount on a perfume.
With a loyalty program, you get access to valuable data about your customers' behaviors, habits, and preferences. It can help you target offers to the individual customer's wishes and needs. You can always be one step ahead by sending your customers personalized offers that can inspire them to make their next purchase. For example, you may have a customer who has previously bought a shampoo from you. It is relevant to keep an eye on the shampoo's burn rate - when do you expect the customer to have finished it? When the time is right, you can send the customer an offer for a new shampoo, where you may also offer them a conditioner in addition to the shampoo. That way, you increase the likelihood of making a sale and expand the customer's basket size. You can also use your insight into customer data to develop personalized product recommendations when your customers are browsing your webshop. Your customer may have been on your boots product page with boots several times but have not yet made a purchase. You can consider making a personal offer, where the customer gets a free or cheap impregnation if they order a pair of optional boots within a certain period.
If you know what the customer needs and give them a personal experience where they feel seen and heard, they are much more likely to show you loyalty - and it will show on the bottom line.
Being remembered by customers is incredibly valuable when Black Friday and Christmas sales are here, and you and your competitors simultaneously advertise with great deals and discounts. In the battle for customer attention, a good customer experience also becomes extra essential. It can seem overwhelming for many consumers to have to deal with one business that advertises their great deals after another. It can make both the bargain hunt on Black Friday and the Christmas gift shopping an annoying duty rather than a positive experience.
Several different businesses have, over time, used gamification for these occasions. Examples of this are stores that make a Christmas calendar where their customers, every day in December, can open a door and win prizes. Or a wheel of fortune for Black Friday, where each field gives access to different kinds of discounts.
The Christmas calendar and the wheel of fortune give customers a positive experience and create attention at a time when the competition for attention is extra fierce. As a bonus, you can obtain permissions through the games to collect and store data that allows you to send out news and offers to potential customers.
There are various platforms to create better customer experiences and achieve better bottom-line results through gamification. One of them is Scratcher, which has been used to develop a Christmas calendar for Toyota and a Black Friday wheel of fortune for Saxo.
Contact our expert Peter and find out more about your options for implementing gamification.
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