What Is Gamification? Benefits, Examples & Techniques

What is gamification?
Gamification is the process of introducing game mechanics into anything that results in better engagement and participation. In short, it’s making something more fun to do. There are many benefits to gamification. For businesses, it improves customer experience and promotes loyalty, to name a few.

If you have been wondering what gamification is, remember that it usually makes processes and computer systems less boring and more engaging. The process promotes action by encouraging self-expression, achievement, competition and game rules. Gamification is a new process but it has gained popularity among many businesses.

In this article, we discuss what gamification is all about. You can also check out this gamification statistics to see its overall impact on multiple industries. You’ll be able to see if the process can benefit your business through the techniques and real-life examples that will be provided.

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Businesses get lots of benefits from gamification, hence, the popularity of top gamification software. To some, gamification may very well be the future of the workplace. It can turn around sagging employee performance and engagement, resulting in improved sales. The positive impact of gamification rests on its effect on employee psychology. What it does is use the psychological cues that influence decision-making.

The growth of the gamification market reflects the continued popularity of the process. The market will grow at a CAGR of 30.31 from 2019 to 2024. Increased mobile penetration, integration with social media platforms and its perceived influence over human behavior will fuel this growth.

Source: Statista, Mordor Intelligence, Markets and Markets.

However, the apparent effectiveness of gamification is not without its problems. The number one hurdle to gamification is the fact that behavior is difficult to change. According to the Fogg Behavior Model, for behavioral change to take place, motivation, ability, and prompt must converge at the same time. So, if you’re considering using gamification to boost productivity and engagement, brace yourself for this challenge.

Gamification Benefits

Gamification offers companies huge benefits, leveraging the process to improve customer and employee engagement, boosting productivity and increasing revenues. The benefits of gamification are anchored on motivation and use of reward systems, both of which are covered by the latest gamification trends. The following are but some of gamification’s benefits to businesses.

Enhances Communication

Gamification can enhance employee communication by providing a feedback mechanism. HR departments use a variety of gamification methods to improve employee training. Further improvements can be made based on employee feedback.

Boosts Motivation

Employee motivation is another area where gamification excels. It motivates employees by using a goal, achievement and rewards system (carrot on a stick if you will). This improvement in employee motivation results in better productivity across companies. Gamified systems can also improve employee performance and satisfaction.

Engages Employees

Using gamification allows companies to take employee engagement to a whole different level. This is a good example of using gamification in HR. When used in worker training, gamified systems help employees develop a better sense of commitment to the company. They also give them that feeling of belongingness to their respective teams. Employees can also easily align themselves with corporate goals using gamification.

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Preferred gamification strategies of adult learners

Preferred gamification strategies of adult learners
Progressing to different levels: 30

Progressing to different levels

Preferred gamification strategies of adult learners
Getting points/scores: 27

Getting points/scores

Preferred gamification strategies of adult learners
Receiving real-time performance feedback: 26

Receiving real-time performance feedback

Preferred gamification strategies of adult learners
Progress bars: 25

Progress bars

Preferred gamification strategies of adult learners
Activity feeds : 24

Activity feeds

Preferred gamification strategies of adult learners
Competing with friends: 13

Competing with friends

Preferred gamification strategies of adult learners
Being part of a story: 11

Being part of a story

Preferred gamification strategies of adult learners
Avatars: 3


Preferred gamification strategies of adult learners
Virtual currencies: 2

Virtual currencies


Source: Bravon

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Better Productivity

Proper employee motivation only leads to one thing—increased productivity. And gamification can do this for you. Game dynamics can upgrade employee skills, which leads to increased productivity. All these from the fact that gamification promotes collaborative work environments.

Improves Employee Skills

Companies that use gamification can shift focus to developing their employees’ skills. Better skills often result from gamified training programs. These programs could focus on a variety of employee skills, which include communication, leadership, negotiation and stress management skills, to name a few.

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High Growth Rates of Game-based Learning

5-year forecast of game-based learning growth rates

High Growth Rates of Game-based Learning
Africa : 60


High Growth Rates of Game-based Learning
North America: 46

North America

High Growth Rates of Game-based Learning
Eastern Europe: 43

Eastern Europe

High Growth Rates of Game-based Learning
Western Europe: 40

Western Europe

High Growth Rates of Game-based Learning
Latin America: 40

Latin America

High Growth Rates of Game-based Learning
Middle East: 32

Middle East

High Growth Rates of Game-based Learning
Asia-Pacific: 27



Source: Metaari

Designed by

Customer Data Collection

For customers to use gamification platforms, they need to provide social media or email credentials. This is how businesses can collect information about such customers. These data may include how often they visit websites and what they do there. Every site visitor is associated with achievements, points, badges, and clicks. All these provide big data, which gives customer info.

Having the proper information about a customer will allow companies to gain insights on which to base future actions. However, you can only derive insights from data that is properly analyzed. Huge amounts of customer data will be generated by gamified systems, regardless of game outcomes. 

Aids in Social Responsibility

Some businesses have been using gamification to fulfill social responsibility by giving back to industry-relevant communities. Case in point: RecycleBank and Opower. The former has partnered with utilities and uses social media to encourage consumers to compete in energy efficiency. The game encourages consumers to monitor and share energy consumption. RecycleBank, on the other hand, rewards people who practice paper recycling or consumes less energy by giving them restaurant and store discounts and gift cards.

Maintain Relevance to Customers

Gamification can help your company stay relevant to your customers by reminding them that you’re still there. To use gamification effectively in this case, your website should never run out of engaging content. Apart from socially-charged environments, huge amounts of relevant content make gamification much easier. Gamification is meant to draw individuals together. When it accomplishes this, customers are also rewarded. 

Gamification software can help you maintain relevance to your customers. You can do this by integrating gamification apps with your existing customer service software such as Zendesk. When imbued with gamification features, Zendesk improves behavior modification, employee performance, training, and learning.

Should you want to investigate the platform firsthand, you can easily do so when you sign up for free Zendesk trial here.

Offers Solutions to Business Problems

You can use gamified websites for crowdsourcing purposes. Crowdsourcing, in turn, can provide solutions to complicated business questions. Gamification promotes feedback, which can be used to solve complex business questions. Crowdsourcing data can be very useful, provided businesses know how to use the information. This is why organizations should be innovative enough to make it work.

Examples of Gamification

We know that gamification works. The question is how does it work? Googling “gamification examples” will give you tons of results. However, many of them are no longer relevant as more and more gamification methods are developed. Employing these methods in conjunction with any of the leading gamification platforms ensures success. Here, we give you examples of gamification methods that have proved successful.

Nike+ Fuelband and Accessories

Nike+ is an app that was first launched in 2012. It has since evolved into a gamified sport that promotes lifestyle changes through fitness. Nike products have since then been tied to the app, with Nike+ Fuelband being the most popular of the lot. The product is a bracelet that uses high-technology to monitor workouts, display personal health stats and daily goals. In order to use the bracelet, users are required to download the app first.

Monopoly Game By McDonald’s

McDonald’s came out with a successful gamification concept without using technology. Originally developed in 1987, the promo’s main goal was to boost company sales. The concept was derived from the board game Monopoly. Customers who purchase any McDonald’s product are given tickets. Individual tickets are equivalent to a space on a Monopoly board. Players’ are to collect all pieces with the same color to win a prize.

The result is engaged customers increasing their purchases to get tickets. The program increased McDonald’s sales by 5.6% in 2010.

Daily Deal System from

Online seller gamification program involves rolling out a single initial product per day. The first product is offered at a discounted price but limited stocks. Only after the product is sold out that the company will offer another product. The program had customers waiting for the following product, introduced by midnight Central time.

The process is designed to influence shopping behavior as each product is unknown and limited. Shoppers are motivated to anticipate what a product offering is going to be. This feeling only becomes stronger each time a shopper fails to purchase a product. The result is customers flocking to the site at 11:59 pm in the hope of beating others to the next product.

Cisco’s Social Media Training Program

Cisco’s global social media training program helps its employees and contractors develop social media skills. But the program proved difficult to complete as it came with 46 courses. So the company came up with a gamification solution. It divided the program’s certification into three levels—Specialist, Strategist, and Masters, which were further divided into four sub-certification levels.

The move resulted in the program becoming more engaging and challenging for Cisco employees. Over 650 employees were certified by the program with more than 12,500 courses taken.

Leadership Training for Deloitte Execs

Deloitte came up with a leadership training course for senior executives. However, motivating the executives into initiating and completing training posed a problem. Deloitte solved the issue by using Badgeville to integrate gamification into the course. The program included gaming elements like badges, leaderboards, and status symbols. These measured how many executives initiated and completed the course. Gamification encouraged executives to take the course and cut average training time by around 50%.

Treehouse’ Virtual Learning Academy

Treehouse encourages students to acquire advanced business skills. It also recognizes professionals by offering opportunities for career advancements. The company gamified the process by offering badges and points, which reflect student achievements. In this case, higher points meant higher salaries. The technique worked and motivated students. They were given a variety of tracks to choose from. These tracks help monitor student progress as they work towards their goals.

Treehouse' Virtual Learning Academy

Most Popular Gamification Software

  1. Playlyfe. Your online gamification platform if you want to create a gamified solution for non-game experiences and regular work assignments. Learn more in our Playlyfe review.
  2. Rise. Tracks success using Open API, letting you monitor, publish and share success in an innovative and straightforward way. This Rise review shows how.
  3. LevelEleven. A digital sales activity management solution with a gamification-based approach. Our LevelEleven review walks you through how the app does this.
  4. Bunchball Nitro. Lets you evolve your channel strategy, boost employee collaboration and motivate sales teams. Read this Bunchball Nitro review to learn more.
  5. GamEffective. A gamification platform designed for sales, customer service, and employee training and development. Check out this GamEffective review for more about this app.

Gamification Techniques

There are a lot of ways to gamify your processes. But they share the same goals—to motivate and engage audiences. This is why knowing the latest gamification techniques is important. Read on to learn some of the most effective gamification techniques that you can employ, categorized by processes.


Give away prizes, generate leads.

Holding contests is one of the oldest marketing techniques. Many businesses have been using gamification in marketing. And you can use it to gamify your marketing programs. Remember that for a customer to enter a contest, he/she must leave contact information. This is to ensure that the winner can be contacted easily. Valuable customer information is collected as a result of this process. And in case gamification is already in place, your players shouldn’t find form-filling that difficult.

Setting Minimum Scores for Better Engagement

These days, companies set minimum scores for users to win prizes from playable ads. This will challenge, engage and encourage players to aim for high scores. For newbies, failing to meet the minimum scores will be no biggie. These players will most likely retry, further exposing themselves to business brands.

Use Upload Challenges to Generate User Content

Engage your audience by giving them challenges. You can easily glean user-generated content by doing this. One good way to accomplish this is to challenge your players to upload content like videos or images. Handing out prizes for cool uploads will encourage participation, speeding up the process.


Video Games in the Curriculum

You can use gamification in education. Gamification in e-learning using video games can help students learn math and language. Students receive instant feedback and rewards. These serve as external motivators that help students focus on their goals. Video games provide students with control over the choices they make. Gamified curricula, in essence, allows students to face failure, overcome them, and persevere.

Gamified Grading

Teachers can replace conventional grading systems by gamifying their courses. One method is the adoption of a system that is based on “experience” points. Under such a system, the number of points that students accumulate by the end of the course will determine their final letter grades. In a nutshell, grading will be based on student accomplishment. Experience points allow teachers to align skills with levels and put the spotlight on education’s value.

Gamified Grading

Employee Training

Gamify Existing Sessions

Coming up with new games can be tedious and expensive. Evaluate existing materials and try to figure out where gaming elements may be inserted. Identify areas where employees can solve challenges to achieve behavioral change. You can then insert gaming elements in these areas of the training program.

Alter Lesson Formats

Complex lessons that could stump your employees are bound to pop up in your lessons. You can break down these lessons into sub-sessions to as a way to make them easier to understand and learn. In a sense, it’s a lot like video games where players must first complete a level before moving on to the next and so on. Points accumulated by an employee are the basis for passing a session. An employee will only be allowed to move on after passing a session. These points and peer competition serve as motivation in this gamification technique.

Boost Employee-LMS Interaction

Interaction between your employees and learning management systems (LMS) is always a good thing. To foster such practice, consider handing out academic awards for LMS achievements. Award employees who comment on online training sessions or help colleagues with training sessions. Workers who add value to your LMS can also be given LMS designations in the form of badges.

Gamifying Content

Use Leaderboards

Humans are naturally competitive. And what better way to promote competition than to use leaderboards. You can easily apply this element to your content. Say, for example, you have a message board where online community members throw around ideas. Using a leaderboard will allow you to rank members based on factors such as comments, thanks, and replies, to name a few. It will encourage members to keep on commenting and engaging others to improve their rankings.

Pose Challenges

Everyone loves a good challenge. After all, it pushes people to strive to be better individuals. You can use challenges to gamify your content. Challenging users to answer hypothetical questions about your product/service at the end of a blog post. You can also use social media to challenge customers to post pictures showing alternative but effective ways of using your products. In the long run, challenges are a very good way to improve customer engagement.

Are You Ready to Try Gamification?

Gamification has been around for years. Its continued use reflects only one thing—it works. Companies have been improving their revenues from gamification. It covers both employees and customers, improving both productivity and customer engagement. Gamification can also make a difference in employee training as it gets rid of boredom, encourages participation and unlocks hidden employee skills.

For marketers, gamification offers customer engagement through the use of contests and by handing out corresponding prizes. You can use customer information to continuously keep them engaged. You can also gamify advertisements to challenge and expose your customers to your brand.

Useful in many ways

Gamification can work for any company that’s brave and confident enough to try it. If you’re seeking to improve the way you engage and motivate both your employees and customers, you might want to give gamification a go. And if you want to go further, they work well with the top names in LMS—learning management systems.

You can likewise improve customer relations using gamification. Use gamification to keep your customers engaged. You can gain valuable insights while engaging your customers. As mentioned, you can easily integrate gamification tools with a top customer support program like Zendesk, for example. You can see how it works easily when you sign up for free Zendesk trial here. Your business also gets to stay relevant to customers, constantly reminding them that you are but a phone call or email away. Do this by establishing a customer community using social media and keep your audience engaged with relevant content.

Astrid Eira

By Astrid Eira

Astrid Eira is a resident B2B expert of FinancesOnline, focusing on the SaaS niche. She specializes in accounting and human resource management software, writing honest and straightforward reviews of some of the most popular systems around. Being a small business owner herself, Astrid uses her expertise to help educate business owners and entrepreneurs on how new technology can help them run their operations. She's an avid fan of the outdoors, where you'll find her when she's not crunching numbers or testing out new software.

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