Gamification is the application of game design and game principles in non-game contexts. It is a way to enchant customers by making unusual interactions in a playful context. For example, integrating it into a fun purchase, or adding an appeal of winning or a competitive aspect to digital marketing. It is also a way to make the luxury sector more accessible. Luxury brands are now using the mechanisms associated with video games as a new platform for customer acquisition and engagement. Gamification allows you to gain visibility, attract new customers, collect data, reinforce the brand’s image and DNA, differentiate yourself from the competition, and finally bring the customer to your store or to visit your e-commerce website. It is a real innovation where the creativity is endless in terms of format, message, and aesthetics.
What is gamification?
Gamification was created in the ’80s by airline companies. It is a technique that reproduces the principles associated with video games applied to areas that were not originally intended. It is used in digital marketing since the 2000s, and it is often based on a system of points, rewards, and challenges to build customer loyalty and engagement.
Nowadays, gamification is at the heart of many successful brands’ marketing and content strategies. Indeed, the idea of engaging a user or a consumer through experiential marketing has become widespread. In this sense, many sectors are “gamifying” to offer an innovative and creative experience thanks to techniques and tools that are normally used in video games. Notably, both the luxury and fashion industries have “gamified” to offer their customers a new kind of experience. Retailers have also understood and applied this approach since they integrate into their marketing strategies a set of rewards, promotions, or gifts to offer a better customer experience.
The people mainly targeted by this concept are the younger generations such as the millennials who grew up with the rise of the Internet, video games, and computers, as well as generation Z, born in the world of smartphones and social media. These generations are considered “digital natives” i.e., people who grew up with new technologies, are fond of innovation, use connected objects, and have a notion of exclusivity.
In this context, gamification allows a brand to create a special bond with these audiences by bringing them into this exclusive world playfully and inclusively, sometimes also bringing an affective and addictive dimension. It’s a good way to effectively boost brand awareness and engagement.
For a gamification strategy to be effective, it is essential for luxury brands to optimally integrate the fundamental principles of gaming into their marketing actions, namely the “challenge-accomplishment-satisfaction” triptych.
Each completed challenge must give the user a feeling of pleasure that will make them want to continue to play the game. On top of this, one must integrate a narrative, rewards, and feedback (to give visibility on their progress). The key is to offer the best possible experience to the customer.
Why integrate gamification into your digital marketing strategy?
- Develop your brand awareness
Nowadays, internet users are exposed to advertising messages from everywhere to the point of being quickly tired of them. However, making your brand or your new products known to the general public without doing a minimum of online advertising has become almost impossible. With a good concept, you can leave a lasting impression on your target audience, while making it easier to communicate your advertising message to them.
- Use gamification to collect data
Gamification often allows you to collect customer data such as email addresses, names, phone numbers, etc. All you have to do is ask your visitors to register to participate while respecting the General Data Protection Regulation. By pushing the concept even further, gamification becomes a very effective customer segmentation tool and you can collect a lot of qualitative data to qualify your audience.
- Increase your online and offline conversions
In addition to collecting valuable data to reach your target audience, gamification can also optimize your customer conversion rate by generating qualified traffic to your website, mobile application, and/or to your physical store. To do this, you can offer discount coupons to use online or in your store to reward participants. You can also get inspired by treasure hunts to direct your target audiences to your different digital and physical touchpoints.
- Boost engagement
Gamification is an effective method to increase the engagement of your users. Indeed, it generates a high rate of interactions and clicks since the Internet user becomes a “player” and is immersed in the company’s universe in a fun and interactive way. The feeling of belonging and exclusivity allows them to feel privileged and makes them want to act.
- Integrate it into your inbound marketing strategy
Gamification is an integral part of the tactics you need to put in place to develop an effective inbound marketing strategy. Share content that allows you to convey your brand messages related to your gamification strategy. For example, through a blog post, a social media post, or via email marketing.
- Generate leads
Most games require users to insert personal contact information. This is where the value of gamification lies. With this contact information, you’ll have an entry point to start a conversation with qualified prospects who are usually in the consideration phase of your product. Gamification helps leads move forward in the conversion funnel.
- Increase customer loyalty
Creating games also helps build loyalty among your consumers. With games, you encourage users to come back to your website or mobile application to get a better score. By applying the concept of gamification, you will increase the number of loyal visitors.
- Generate sales
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