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    Gamification, Engagement grabbing customer attention and building loyalty

Building loyalty can be all fun and games!

In the fast-paced modern world, it seems as if nobody has the time to accomplish the things they need to. We find ourselves struggling to get trivial things accomplished to get by in the whizzing digital era. This leaves consumers and businesses alike frustrated.

Gamification works by teaching your target audience to behave according to a set of behavior patterns that help them achieve tasks – tasks that are otherwise considered mundane and boring. It has proven to successfully grab consumers’ short attention spans and keep them focused on an idea. Simply put, engagement leads to loyalty which in turn leads to increased revenue.

Gamification has intelligently borrowed the aspects from gaming that make it so addictive and fun (e.g. receiving points, rewards and badges) and has incorporated them into technology. In that sense, the user engages with the interface in an efficient and entertaining matter. By reaching new levels and gaining perks, people feel as if they have achieved mastery, autonomy and even social status. As in a game, it is essential that the challenge not be too easy for this will bore the user and not too frustrating for many will simply walk away. The perfect balance between simplicity and complexity will help you convert a visitor into a regular.

These virtual accomplishments translate into real-life positive emotions within users. This helps forge somewhat of a friendship between the customer and the brand, which then translates into brand loyalty. Through this journey where there are obstacles to be overcome and goals to be met, the customer becomes attached to the brand because of how it makes him or her feel.
Mechanics, measurement, behavior and reward are the four broad umbrellas that enter into gamification. The graph below illustrates the sub-points to be taken into consideration for a successful strategy.

The best part is that people actually find themselves enjoying the process of accomplishing a goal or solving a problem, almost as if it were a game rather than an annoying chore. Humans have a psychological predisposition to enjoy competitive games. We easily respond to challenges. This explains why gamification has proven to be so successful.

Besides that, it has also proven to be an excellent way to collect big data among visitors. This can help to better study and understand consumer behavior, eventually leading to better targeted marketing and advertising strategies.

Interestingly, gamification applies to a myriad of domains such as commerce, education, entertainment, enterprise and marketing. It can aid in a great number of ways such as recruiting new members, keeping older members engaged and motivating employees in the workplace. Famously, Nike has used it to encourage its customers to get active by creating a fitness app for smart phones. The app, Nike+ keeps a record of your data and statistics as a runner.

The term was coined in 2003 when the strategy first came into great popularity. What is in the future for gamification, you might wonder? According to a recent Forbes article, 2015 will see 40 percent of Global 1000 organizations using this method in their business operations. However, many companies who have jumped onto the bandwagon have failed to properly implement their games with the existing brand image. Yes, gamification may be a highly successful way to promote your business but only if done properly. By making the game simple yet engaging while keeping the brand and game message consistent, your employees or customers will be happy and your business will reap the benefits. Of course, it is slightly more complex than that but use that a loose general guideline and a good word of advice.

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