Much has been written in the recent past about gamification as a way to get your audience’s attention. Particularly if you have difficulties engaging your audience due to the nature of your industry, creating a related game may be just the solution you need to enter your audience’s mindset and increase your company’s brand awareness.
Of course, gamification is a relatively complex process, particularly because it requires you to think outside of the parameters you usually consider when marketing your business. Fortunately, mobile app development can play a crucial part in helping you get there, making the process easier than you might think.
There are many definitions of the concept floating around the internet, but our favorite is this: “gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts.” When you approach it the right way, just about anything can be turned into a game. Simply adding a scoring or level system, perhaps with attached incentives, increases motivation among users and audiences.
To see this type of simple gamification in action, look no further than the crowdfunding platforms that have become so popular in recent years. IndieGoGo allows potential investors in interesting ideas to track the progress of these ideas, and see how much has already been given to the project by others. Different donations levels come with different incentives, which will only come into effect once the overall has been reached – giving donors additional incentive to spread the word about the project. Through simple gamification, startups and entrepreneurs can more easily raise crucial funds for their ideas.
But of course, gamification can be more complex as well. Brands throughout the United States are building games to engage their audience, and these games may only be tangentially related to the core product or service. Here, the gamification process acts as a brand awareness builder, getting people used to the brand in a playful way. And this is where mobile app development enters the equation.
Have you ever wondered just why games are consistently atop the Apple and Google Store app charts? Probably not, because the answer is obvious. We all like to line up candies in rows of three, or slingshot upset birds onto a group of pigs. Games, particularly those that are relatively simple and easy to learn, are a great way to spend the time when you’re early in a meeting, waiting for the subway, or otherwise bored in the moment.
Of course, marketers have long caught on to that fact, creating gamified apps to get audiences to engage with the brand. Nike Plus, for example, has ascended near the top of mobile fitness trackers thanks to awarding points and allowing users to compete with their friends. The US Army, on the other hand, uses the game America’s Army as a crucial part of its recruiting process.
In both cases, the actual game activity is only loosely related to the product. Tracking your fitness will not increase your immediate need for shoes, nor will playing a game make you run to your nearest recruiter and join the Army. But both examples are also consistent with their developer’s respective brand identity, etching themselves in audience’s minds over time as a leader in fitness and combat, respectively.
Chances are you compete with a variety of direct and indirect competitors on an everyday basis. And you are doing so in an environment that is increasingly cluttered, with your audience receiving hundreds (if not thousands) of brand-related messages every day. Gamification allows you to get out of that noise, instead establishing your brand and connecting with your audience in a fun way. To learn more about creating an app that helps you accomplish just that, contact us.