The New B2B Standard: Gamification for Business

Seth Priebatsch, CEO of LevelUp (formerly SCVNGR), has been quoted saying, “we like to joke that with seven game dynamics, you can pretty much get anyone to do anything.” And…he’s not wrong. Among the 40+ tactics, three core theories—appointment dynamics, communal discovery, and progression dynamics—are designed to create a fervent action-and-reaction system.
Here’s how it works.
The appointment dynamic is when a user must get to a location at a specific time to receive a reward. Seth likens it to a common and beloved phenomena—happy hour. “Go to a bar early, buy a drink, and get a discount.” Communal discovery is technical talk for the word “teamwork,” but differs in that it’s not forced cooperation, but rather a partnership with empathy, symbiosis, and support in mind. And then there’s the progression dynamic; this one is quite simple: Users receive huge value out of seeing their success measured in real-time. Think scoreboards, activity trackers, and piggy banks—anything that acts as a visible point system. Case in point: Applebee’s. In 2013, after suffering from high employee turnover and operational hiccups, they launched a custom gamification system from Bunchball. If logged in, employees are prompted to complete tasks and earn points or badges throughout their shift. “Servers might be challenged to sell certain menu items on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. (Applebee’s adds new menu items every eight weeks.),” says Lauren Brousell in her article for CIO. “Roughly 7,000 of the franchisee’s employees use the gamification system…and, on average, it registers 1,800 logins a day.” This neighborhood grill and bar isn’t alone—programs like Samsung Nation, Volkswagen’s People’s Car Project, Verizon Mobile Living, and Nike+ all incorporate status levels, immersive reality, social connectedness, and personalization to better engage with customers. Back in 2011 before gamification was a staple strategy, Bleu tapped into the allure of interactivity to create HP Mission Possible: a customized application and direct mail piece. With a 47% response rate—towering over the industry standard of 3.7%—the campaign elevated traffic to their site and bolstered awareness of HP notebooks around the world. MP_Packaging Wishing to continue this success, HP asked us for another fresh take. In a summer filled with superhero films, we wanted to breathe life into the everyday sales hero—the cubicle-ites, the number crunchers, the charismatic cold callers. With HP Super Recruit and HP Superheroes, sales-advocate recruitment became an undeniably engaging game where the user could craft their own super persona answer by answer, stage by stage. Character If the overwhelming success of gamification teaches us one thing, it’s that the act of play should—and does—have a place in everyday life.

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