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I recently read a book by Jane McGonigal called “Reality is Broken: Why Games Makes Us Better and How They Can Change the World,” which, as you might’ve guessed, talks all about using games to improve our personal lives, businesses, and organizations.

So, it got me inspired to explore the topic a little further and share my thoughts.

2021 is on pace to break a record for business formations, with data showing over 1.4 million applications filed in this year, according to the Census Bureau.

So, it’s clear that competition will continue to grow and it will become increasingly difficult to engage customers and retain them. The competition for top talent will also grow.

For these reasons, among many others, I think Gamification is a great path to explore in 2022.

Game and software developers understand the psychology behind designing games to keep users engaged and constantly coming back for more. Something many of our businesses can benefit from, both externally and internally.

So, here are a few strategies to explore and some examples of companies that I think are doing gamification really well.

First up is, Rewards.

These are probably the most popular gamification strategy and the easiest to implement.

One popular example of a gamification strategy many of us probably unconsciously take part in every day, is loyalty rewards programs at our favorite businesses.

Like, Starbucks, for example. Buy more drinks, get more points, and eventually get a free drink. Yet on our quest to get the one free drink, we pay for 20!

Secondly, Badges.

They show off achievements and can serve as a great internal gamification strategy.

Deloitte has a great example.

They added gamification to their training with status symbols, reward badges, and leadership boards created to encourage executives to take a leadership training program, and add a little competition.

It turned out to be a massive success.

Deloitte saw a 50 percent decrease in time to complete the program.

Last but not least, Points.

With this, customers or users get points as they complete tasks. For example, achieve a certain amount of points, and buy things in the app, or possibly exchange points for discounts.

Duolingo, the language learning app, has mastered the points gamification strategy and amassed over 100 million users. With points, users can continue learning and advancing to new levels for free. You can also get bonus points for a learning streak and use them to purchase things in the app.

So my final take on gamification is this:

There’s no denying the power of games and the gratification associated with them. Most of us have experienced it before ourselves, perhaps many times (Candy Crushers, raise your hand!)

With this in mind, there’s really nothing to lose but much to gain by testing out a gamification strategy in your business.

It’s something I plan to explore more in 2022 and you should too.

However, it is important to be mindful that a gamification strategy for business is just a strategy, not a blueprint for your entire business model.

Too much gamification might make your employees and customers feel patronized, so it’s important to keep your strategy succinct, direct, and simple.

Has your business embraced the gamification strategy? Tell me about it in the comments!

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