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Create brand awareness and good customer experiences with gamification

When we are having fun and are challenged, chemicals (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins) are released in our brains. These are chemicals that the brain craves and positively affect our sense of happiness. When something causes our brain to release these chemicals, we will automatically remember it better.

November 11, 2020
By Jacob Gammelby Stenhaug

If you contribute to a potential customer releasing these chemicals, you give them a positive customer experience and increase their probability of remembering you.


As humans, we are programmed to enjoy games and competitions - they entertain and challenge us. 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 released in our brains. Therefore, gamification is an excellent tool for creating positive customer experiences and ensuring that customers remember you.

What is gamification?


The general definition of gamification 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 paint a clearer picture of what it is and how it concretely improves the customer experience and creates brand awareness.


Mobile games

As an effective marketing strategy, gamification 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.

The invention of smartphones has boosted gamification, and it is possible to reach most users through a mobile app. However, we also encounter 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.


Loyalty programs

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 is receiving points, discounts, or products. Therefore, creating a loyalty program that rewards customers when they perform specific actions may be valuable. An example is Matas' loyalty program Club Matas, where customers earn points every time they shop, and so-called "stripes" shop when they spend more than DKK 200. When enough points have been collected, they can be used in a point 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 towards 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 on a new shampoo, where you may also offer them a conditioner. That way, you increase the probability of selling and expanding 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 product page with boots several times but have not yet purchased. You can consider making a personal offer, where the customer gets a free or cheap impregnation spray if they order a pair of boots within a certain period.

If you know what your customer needs and give them a personal experience where they feel seen and heard, they are much more likely to be loyal - and it will show on the bottom line.


Gamification for Black Friday and Christmas sales

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. A good customer experience becomes extra important in the battle for customer attention. It can seem overwhelming for many consumers to have to deal with one business that advertises their great deals after another. It can make the bargain hunt on Black Friday and the Christmas gift shopping an annoying duty rather than a positive experience.


Over time several different businesses have 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 window 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.


Do you want to get started with gamification?

Various platforms 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.


Reach out to me and find out more about your options for implementing gamification.