In order to increase the quality of life, the modern man has eagerly embraced new gaming concepts and has integrated them into his habits and daily activities, whether it be exercising, healthy life habits, learning a foreign language, purchasing, traveling, being informed or communicating with friends.
For more than a decade now, gaming systems have been delivered by global platforms we use on a daily basis, such as: social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn & Kudos), multimedia platforms (Youtube, Netflix), accommodation and transportation booking platforms (Booking, Uber, AirBnB, hotel chains – Hilton, AccorHotels) and numerous airlines (loyalty programs such as Miles and More), e-commerce platforms (Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Starbucks, McDonalds) and information platforms (Wikipedia, Waze – contribution to road traffic data).
Success of products and services in the new digital era is measured by customer response, engagement and satisfaction. That is why a growing number of companies are looking for more effective and creative gamification tools and solutions to meet increasing standards and expectations of both business and residential users, and to introduce constant necessary improvements of products themselves, applied technologies and all customer touchpoints.
Focus of every business is placed on users and on company employees whose dedication to clients, acquired knowledge, quick adaptation to change and work efficiency are crucial ingredients for customer satisfaction and the essence of success.
Successful companies have recognized the benefits of gamification. They have been using the concept of gamification in various ways to increase motivation, awareness, satisfaction and loyalty of both employees and users. Depending on the size and type of company, there are 3 types of gamification:
- Small Startup companies most often opt for Product Gamification, given that they need to create a Winning Product that users cannot part from and that creates some sort of addictive behavior (where players naturally want to keep playing).
- Medium-sized companies are opting for Marketing Gamification since they want to attract potential new customers within targeted market segments and get them to become interested and connect with their products and brands. This is not easy and the reason people get interested in a product or service is much more complex than just an attractive banner or catchy advertisement.
- Large companies (as well as Fortune 500) focus on Corporate Gamification to train their employees in an easy and fun way, as well as develop corporate culture and solidarity among employees and individual teams.
B2C (Marketing) Gamification
In digital era, when market quickly and easily grows from local to global, product marketing requires applying of a gamification concept on several levels: from Implicit gamification hidden in the product and sales channels design, pricing policies, promotions and loyalty programs (in the domain of behavioral economics), to creating user profiles (with a visible progress bar), user networks, engagement / participation systems, and even explicit gamification through sweepstakes.
It is very important that applied gamification is always in context of the brand, in accordance with the target group and brand mission. Good examples of adequate gamification use are:
- Nike +: Nike has created an app and bracelet to improve user performance and achieve personal fitness goals. Instant feedback, social networking, tracking results in a gamification context, and competition leaderboards have provided this brand with greater customer loyalty and an emergence of a multi-million community of loyal customers and brand ambassadors.
- Heineken, as the Champions League official sponsor, created a game in which, during the matches, users answer questions related to the game (whether a goal will be scored in the next 20 seconds, whether a penalty will be saved etc.) and win prizes.
- In line with its mission of bringing greater optimism and happiness to the world and its slogan Shake It, Coca-Cola has created an addictive app that users launch only during Coca-Cola commercials to earn unexpected rewards.
- Consistent with its business activities and slogan „For pleasure seekers“, Magnum created a very successful Pleasure Hunt game where virtual sweets are collected then converted into real ones on Magnum website.
- Starbucks has significantly increased revenue and customer loyalty by creating My Reward loyalty app and personalized gifts.
- McDonalds generated higher revenues by implementing a well-known Monopoly game.
- Samsung launched its social loyalty program Samsung Nation in which various rewards motivate users to interact with each other.
- Nissan developed the CarWings program for Nissan electric vehicle drivers to track, evaluate and reward their driving performance.
Creative and innovative tasks are becoming increasingly important to the world economy, and traditional methods for motivating employees are limited and outdated. Corporate gamification use is, therefore, more diverse and growing to enable gamification of business objectives, employees’ knowledge, interactions with customers and partners in order to increase sales, customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as motivation and collaboration among employees.
Corporate gamification utilizes tried and tested motivation techniques that are based on a person’s primal need for progress, recognition, competition, social interaction and purpose. In today’s age of high staff fluctuation and the need for ongoing training of existing staff due to rapid technological changes, Frank Sonnenberg’s maxim is often cited: „If work isn’t fun, you are not playing on the right team.“
Through examples of successful corporate gamification we can gain insight into mechanisms used to strengthen team spirit and increase zeal for work:
- Thanks to Microsoft Language Quality game, Microsoft implemented additional fixes for localized solutions where, within the corporate game, employees found and corrected bugs and while competing to find as many bugs as possible, they were improving company products to the great satisfaction of users who found localization solutions to be valuable.
- Through creation of a professional, gamified community SAP Community Network, SAP has enabled additional employee engagement in writing expert texts and expanding their internal knowledge base. Additionally, through forums and blogs, employees are able to communicate with colleagues and provide consultancy support that scores points and is awarded with badges.
- SAP has also created RoadWarrior, a solution for gamifying sales teams. For SAP, the top ERP solution provider, impeccable training and sales team knowledge are a priority. The game is a simulation of real sales situations with different clients, and employees are rewarded for right decisions and correct answers. In this fun way, a sales team has instant feedback on which they can test and adjust their knowledge, acquire new knowledge more easily, while enhancing their knowledge and confidence at the same time. All of this results in better long-term sales results and increased customer satisfaction.
- Cisco has implemented a gamification solution for additional employee training by introducing multiple certification levels and enabling collaboration within teams. In this way, the training, which had low attendance and was very demanding due to 46 courses it covered, became a very popular and successful gamification training with 650 employees completing 12,500 courses.
- Umbel, a big data startup, has created a gamified candidate selection process – Umbelmania, where candidates encode moves in a game to score as many points as possible. Such a gamified selection allows candidates to realize their own level of knowledge and are then transparently and unequivocally profiled for next selection steps as juniors or seniors within pay grades they have won.
- Salesforce (Nitro / Bunchball) has created a solution designed to motivate salespeople and build team spirit.
- Yammer (Badgeville) solution has been successfully implemented in numerous companies such as Deloitte, Samsung, Dell. This solution enables social networking within the company, goal creation, prizes and badges, as well as its achievement publication within company social network. This is how a greater collaboration of employees, strengthening of team spirit and engagement of different levels within the organization are achieved.
- Bluewolf has successfully promoted its brand on social media by creating a gamified #GoingSocial program for its employees. Employees were extremely motivated through this program to write blogs, posts and promote the brand, and to attract more potential clients.
Gamification is a great strategy for transforming boring activities into fun ones, as well as for basic training and employee motivation. Only companies that have enthusiastic teams and dedicated support teams become leaders in their business, and their advantage over competition lies in motivated, committed, high-quality staff.
Enetel Solutions, due to its extensive experience in eCommerce and in collaboration with its sister companies in the gaming industry (Tiro, Clock Drive Games and Zero Gravity Games), creates innovative solutions within GameUp portfolio for different gaming companies’ needs.
GameUp offers a wide range of corporate gamifications that easily apply to different teams within companies (IT, HR, Marketing, Sales, Customer support …), as well as across all types of industries (Banking, Telco, IT, Manufacturing, Services…). The concept of sweepstakes has evolved and GameUp is opening up new space for innovative brand promotion, better visibility in the market, attracting new customers, engaging and retaining existing ones while significantly improving sales results.