Gamification , The New Trend?

Gamification Is trending

  picture of a dartboard with darts in the center representing "on target"

Gamification is not really new

The term gamification has been around since about 2002 but recently in 2010 it started to flourish. As companies began to figure out how to successfully implement it into their marketing strategies. You might ask, what is this all about? But think back to when airlines began to offer us frequent flyer points for repeated travel, and how those points turned into more than free flights but if you were part of the “platinum club” or “gold club” member based on the points and your loyalty to their airlines. I actually knew someone who was going to lose their platinum status if they didn’t travel a few more hundred miles and actually flew back and forth a couple of places in one day to keep their status. That is gamification at it’s finest! It is usually defined on a system based on points, badges, levels, leaderboards or challenges. It is a basic behavior platform that plays on our instinct to want to win, gain status, reach certain levels or give us a feeling of achievement. Companies use design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. This creates more than engagement, it creates a repeat customer who will be brand loyal as long as they get to keep playing the game.

Practical applications you might see now are companies and apps like Foursquare, Waze, FitBit, and Nike+. Many believe as the younger generations that grew up with more than Atari as there sole source of gaming, love the concept. It is familiar and creates the same fun achievement they have grown up with as a past time. For the Atari crowd and older it is easy to feel the achievement and sense that you are earning a good deal. I look at places like Kohl’s who use more than one type of points to create a gamification but turn those into “bucks” that can be spent after you buy as well as a loyalty point system and coupons, which they allow you to combine, you walk out feeling you just got the best deal in town! Why wouldn’t you go back time after time? But besides shopping, it is being used as an accountability for being healthy and keeping you wanting to gain the next goal for your fitness routine.

Now that gamification is evolving we will begin to see more and more even in the work place. Companies now implementing gamification to keep their employees engaged and create a positive competitiveness among them. Giving them challenges and constant feeling of achievement, which the newer generations thrive on. As gamification grows creatively in the future it will no longer be a trend but commonplace for consumers and employees.

To learn more about gamification, check out these classes now available through SMU Continuing and Professional Education:

Gamification of Business: Engaging your Customers and Employees

To read more on gamification, visit these readings:

Gartner redefines Gamification

Success Gamification case studies



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