How brands are using Gamification to drive deeper engagement and data from their customers

Most of us enjoy a bit of friendly competition – but what’s the one thing that everyone likes? Winning. 

It’s that basic human instinct in all of us, that makes gamification such a useful tool in business. Introduce game psychology such as challenges and scoring to everyday activities into the front end of your business, and your customers “win” by enjoying the element of competition while earning rewards. Meanwhile your company builds brand loyalty and increases sales.

Recognising and rewarding customers also means greater retention and revenue. Research from Gigya shows that companies offering rewards see 46% higher customer spending.

But the winning doesn’t end there. Savvy businesses are not just using gamification to encourage customer interaction, they are also using it as a way of collecting data about their clientele. In other words, with every reward point earned or level achieved, participants are actively sharing information about themselves with a brand.

Let’s look at ski resorts as an example. Othot, the predictive analytics company, studied how ski resorts used radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to make more informed decisions about day-to-day operations. It asked: how do you convince a customer to allow you to track their every movement?

Their answer? Turn it into a game.

Here is how it works: skiers receive a card embedded with an RFID chip which creates an interactive experience for the skiers while collecting detailed information about their individual behaviour on the slopes.

The skiers gain access to statistics about their day - for instance, how many vertical feet skied or the number of runs completed -  and they can then turn it into a competition with their friends and family or other skiers at the resort, or share their achievements on social media.

According to Othot, the resort used each data element as a way to improve wait times, equipment rentals, other resort traffic, staffing, and marketing and predictive analytics applications - equally important as efficiency. Based on the information that the resort collected about each skier, they were able to better target marketing materials of specific products to those most likely to buy them. As they continued to collect data overtime, resorts used the historical data to make better predictions about how many people will attend a resort on a certain day, which slopes or other amenities will be populated, and by what type of customer.

Gamification doesn’t just allow you to get your hands on a volume of data - research by J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, shows that the details collected are also more accurate. According to the study, 51% of consumers said that if a layer of competition were added to everyday activities, they would pay more attention to their behaviours providing more accurate information back to brands. It’s a clear example of how technology is enabling brands to get closer to their customers and better target their offering.

Bink's own loyalty app, is another example of a technological innovation that is driving stronger customer loyalty for brands. Customers simply register their payment cards and loyalty schemes with Bink, and reward points are automatically added upon payment - resulting in a happy customer. Brands in turn have access to rich data sets enabling them to create personalised customer experiences to drive sales growth - resulting in happier customers and in turn brands.

The customer loyalty space is becoming an exciting place to be - technology offers new opportunities and there really is something for everyone – businesses and customers - and we can all feel like we are winning.