What Is Gamification?

What Is Gamification?

Gamification is the process of taking something that already exists – a website, an enterprise application, an online community – and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty. Gamification takes the data-driven techniques that game designers use to engage players, and applies them to non-game experiences to motivate actions that add value to your business.

Games vs. Gamification

When people hear gamification, they envision games created for a business purpose. But gamification is not about creating something new. It is about amplifying the effect of an existing, core experience by applying the motivational techniques that make games so engaging. When you increase high-value interactions with customers, employees, and partners, you drive more sales, stronger collaboration, better ROI, deeper loyalty, higher customer satisfaction and more. Learn more about how Bunchball provides a gamification platform for your business.

Game Mechanics

Gamification is built upon 10 primary game mechanics, proven to motivate and engage users, and may use any combination of these techniques to accomplish business goals. To learn more about real-world applications of gamification, see the wide range of gamification Success Stories from Bunchball customers.

Fast Feedback: Immediate feedback or response to actions

Encourage users to continue or adjust their activities with onscreen notifications, text messages or emails. Congratulate a user for reaching a goal, encourage the next step to a milestone or promote a new reward.

Transparency: Where everyone stands

Show users exactly where they stand on the metrics that matter to you and to your audience. Individual and team profiles show progress in real-time and historically. Leaderboards show who’s just ahead and who’s behind as well as overall ranking on any number of metrics.

Goals: Short- and long-term goals to achieve

Missions or challenges give users a purpose for interaction, and educate users about what is valued and possible within the experience.

Badges: Evidence of accomplishments

An indicator of accomplishment or mastery of a skill is especially meaningful within a community that understands its value. Often used to identify skills and expertise within a group.

Leveling Up: Status within my community

Levels indicate long-term or sustained achievement. Used to identify status within a community and to unlock new missions, badges, activities, and rewards.

Onboarding: An engaging and compelling way to learn

Video games train you how to play as you play – users learn by doing. Simple missions help new users become engaged immediately as they master basic tasks, rather than being stumped by an unfamiliar interface or a detailed manual.

Competition: How I’m doing compared to others

Raise the stakes for accomplishing a goal by showing users how they compare to others, as individuals or in teams. Encourage competition with time-based, team and individualized leaderboards. Where do I rank? How can I overtake my closest competitor?

Collaboration: Accomplish a goal working with others

Connect users as a team to accomplish larger tasks, to drive competition, and to encourage knowledge sharing. Show team members how they are contributing to the group’s success. No one wants to let down their team members.

Community: A context for achievement

Community gives meaning to goals, badges, competitions, and other mechanics. Sharing participant achievements creates energy in the community by making people aware of what others are doing. They learn about goals, badges, and rewards that they may want to pursue.

Points: Tangible, measurable evidence of my accomplishments

Used to keep score and establish status or accumulated to purchase virtual or real goods. Earn points through activities, sharing, contributing, or by creating something useful to others.


The Promise of Gamification

Gamification is transforming business models by creating new ways to extend relationships, craft longer-term engagement, and drive customer and employee loyalty. It works because it leverages the motivations and desires that exist in all of us for community, feedback, achievement and reward. When combined with the latest research on motivation and the big data generated by user interactions, gamification empowers businesses to create true loyalty. Learn more about true loyalty in the book by Bunchball Founder Rajat Paharia: Loyalty 3.0