An effective way to build customer loyalty is the application of gamification to its products and services. Also known as gamification, this marketing technique consists of applying mechanisms from the gaming world to strengthen the commitment of its consumers. This technique has already been adopted by many brands, each of which applies it in its own way. Among them, we have selected four inspiring examples: Blablacar, Nike, TripAdvisor and Spotify.
Example 1: Gamification at Blablacar
One of the main obstacles to carpooling is the lack of confidence that can reign when looking for a carpooler. The Blablacar platform has understood this and decided to set up a system to reinforce trust between its members. In order to distinguish new users from more experienced ones, Blablacar has set up experience levels on its carpooling platform. Thus, throughout his journeys, each user has the opportunity to climb the ladder through different levels: beginner, regular, confirmed, expert and finally ambassador. To do so, the user is rated on several criteria, such as the quality of his profile, the proportion of positive opinions received or his seniority on the platform. This reward system plays on the need for closure specific to every human being: the ultimate goal is to reach the status of ambassador! This mechanics of marketing gamification, called “leveling”, helps build customer loyalty by making them progress step by step. It encourages each member to complete his or her profile and collect positive feedback, in order to strengthen trust within the Blablacar community. The benefit is twofold for the company. On the one hand, passengers are reassured about the profile of their driver, which eliminates the main obstacle to using this service. On the other hand, carpoolers have the feeling of evolving within the community, driven by the desire to gain experience, which reinforces their loyalty to the platform.
Example 2: The Nike+ Run Club application
Nike+ products and services are intended to extend the Nike experience beyond the purchase of a branded product. The Nike+ Run Club app is no exception to this rule, and offers all running athletes the opportunity to join the community of runners using the app. The application allows you to measure your efforts and follow a personalized training program adapted to your level and goals. It also allows sharing running statistics on social networks, as well as participating in challenges and winning badges and trophies. All these features constitute a competition mechanism, very effective in the implementation of gaming. The role of this application is not only to build user loyalty to the brand, but also to improve and disseminate Nike’s image to the sports community. Indeed, the brand is no longer positioned as a simple distributor of sporting goods, but as a real coach training the most motivated athletes.
Example 3: Sharing opinions on TripAdvisor
To engage its community, TripAdvisor, a pioneer in online travel advice and tips, also uses a gaming technique. Indeed, since the website’s proper functioning relies essentially on the activity and content of its users, it is essential to encourage members to frequently post opinions on the platform. To this end, TripAdvisor has decided to compliment its most active critics by sending them an email congratulating them on their contributions and giving them a ranking compared to other members. If the user is in the top 10, they even receive a personalized message encouraging them to write even more to become number one. This is a perfect example of gamification by the mechanism of competition: the user, stimulated by his desire to reach the first place, will be even more inclined to post new reviews. With these campaigns, TripAdvisor has observed an 185% increase in the rate of clicks on its emails, compared to its previous campaigns. The result is equally satisfactory: almost half of the users wrote a review after opening the email, and the number of reviews submitted increased by 354% the week the email was sent. The platform has also introduced a system of badges, awarded following the reviews submitted on the different categories of places visited (hotel, restaurant …). Each user then moves up in these different categories, motivated by the goal of collecting all available badges: an additional way for TripAdvisor to enrich its information.
Example 4: Spotify’s custom “Discoveries of the Week” playlists
The Spotify music streaming platform has set up a fully personalized weekly track selection for each of its users. This playlist, called “Discoveries of the Week”, allows all members to discover a weekly compilation of tracks to suit their musical tastes. Based on the user’s listening history, it cross-references this information with that of other members with similar musical preferences thanks to a recommendation algorithm. The result is a unique selection of tracks, allowing everyone to discover new songs in a very intuitive way. Spotify’s promise with this feature is to provide a playlist that is as close as possible to the user’s tastes as they use the platform. In this way, the more users use Spotify, the more likely they are to enjoy the selection. Users will be inclined to browse through the playlist and discover the tracks and artists that make it up, exploring and sharing their new discoveries with their friends. This gaming through discovery is a good way for the service to build loyalty and allow its members to discover the depth of the catalog.
The application of gamification is therefore very effective in the process of building customer loyalty. This is why it may be interesting to transpose these mechanisms to the creation of a loyalty program. For example, these can take the form of levels to be crossed, giving rise to advantages or rewards. It’s up to you to create a fun and entertaining program that reflects your image and will engage your customers over the long term.
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