GAMIFICATION. An interactive tool for companies, to unlock consumers’ engagement.

Today, most of the brands are looking for innovative tools to create awareness and loyalty among consumers. Key elements to achieve these objectives are consumer engagement and experience. 

Gamification includes these two ingredients. Starting from the features of game design and the logic of gaming, Marketing is one of the various fields of application: recreating the universe of the brand, the consumer is made the protagonist of a fun and rewarding experience. He is called to follow a path, overcome challenges that lead him to win prizes, which raise his self-esteem and bond with the brand, to be part of that universe. At the end, the consumer/player probably get into a chart and this increases competition and the sense of challenge that leads him to commit and become more involved. 

The goal of gamification is, in fact, to stimulate an “active and measurable behavior” of the user, to better convey the message of the company and to better measure the results.

There are many brands that are adopting this logic, from the most disparate sectors.

In the fashion industry Gucci is an example. In 2019 the maison had launched “Gucci Arcade”, a section of its mobile App dedicated to video games, which virtually reproduces a game room from the 70s and 80s. The user can choose between various games, where he must pass various levels and the results are reported in a ranking and shared with the community. Gucci continues to focus on video games, launching a collaboration with “Tennis Clash”, a tennis game for mobile devices, in which players can virtually dress up Gucci garments and participate in the Gucci Open tournament.

The world of online dating is also experimenting with the logic of gaming, with Tinder launching the interactive game “Swipe Night” in September 2020, where users are asked to make choices, which will impact future matches with other people.

In the food industry, Unilever this April launched #sognoladolcevita, a gamification platform for DolceVita merchants. Here too, users are called upon to undertake a journey made up of challenges, to earn points and win the final prize, the Fiat 500 Dolce Vita. The more challenges they participate in, the more interactions with the brand they have.

In the banking sector, Intesa Sanpaolo launched the “Intesa Sanpaolo Reward” app in 2019, where, on Thursdays, while playing, people can try to win numerous prizes. Everyone can be connected, even non-customers, with “basic profiles”, different from the “premium profiles”, which give access to different rewards. This becomes a way to make the brand known, generate a positive image on non-customers and represent an incentive for customers.

Wherever it is possible to adopt the logic of gamification, from tourism (TripAdvisor) and cultural institutions (Teatro Reggio di Parma) to healthcare (Medisafe), from the automotive sector (Lexus) to beauty (MAC)…

In particular, in this period of global pandemic, there was a great need to find innovative solutions that would make people feel less lonely, less isolated and involved in interactive and dynamic processes and part of the community. Gamification has also been adopted as a human resource management tool, to encourage smart working; to encourage the learning of children and, in general, by companies, to create greater involvement.

In all cases, a gamification can be considered successful if it is able to meet the intrinsic needs of the player:  the need of interaction, the feeling of being able to achieve the objectives and the autonomy in the “gameplay” (Self-Determination Theory, Deci and Ryan, 2000). A good gamification makes the players have fun and, therefore, leads them to replay in the future and establish a positive bond with the company.

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