Yesterday when I was speaking at the New Zealand eTourism Conference the subject of gamification came up. Interesting that not many people knew what the word meant and in fact as I write this, neither does my spell checker.
Gamification refers to game mechanics, which is effectively using concepts used in games to get people to do things you want them to do. For example a loyalty card where you get a stamp every time you buy a coffee where you get the 11th coffee free is a form of game to get you to keep coming back to that business.
Red light specials that used to be popular in department stores, where you have to be in the store at a certain time to pick up a bargain are another example, used consistently in places like Sky City Casino, where you can earn points or entries in a competition, one gaming element and then you have to be in the casino at a certain time on a certain day, using the appointment dynamic as a second component. This way you get people back again and of course if they were gambling the first time, they aren’t going to just turn up and stand around waiting are they.
This video is a very cool example of a mobile app called Hijack in Guatemala of all places where Meat King the “trendiest shoe store in Guatemala” offers you special deals when you walk into a competitor’s store. As you see on the video, the quicker you get back into the Meat Pack store, the higher the discount you get. I could see the PC people in New Zealand freaking out about potential injuries to other shoppers in the mall, but what a great creative concept. I can imagine people running backwards and forwards from one brand of store to the other, just to try to increase the level of discount.
Check out the video and tell me what you think. Ready to think about gamification for your business?