To Share or Not to Share: How Gamification is Swaying the Modern Consumer’s Loyalty

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We live in a data-driven society. With the high volume of information pouring in from digital platforms and online channels, data has long ceased to exist in a singular form. Fundamentally, every aspect of our daily lives revolves around data, and the society we reside in is driven and shaped by the same forces. As the immense potential of data to front the next wave of innovation comes to light, companies must chart new waters as they steer the direction of the digital economy.

Although 94% of C-suite leaders consider customers’ data to be of paramount importance, privacy continues to be a hot-button issue. Data privacy practices have come under increased scrutiny with the passing of regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation, aimed at protecting individuals from the misuse and exploitation of personal information. Even as consumers continue to debate the tradeoff between convenience and control, one thing is clear—they are craving a more intuitive and personalized experience. How, then, can companies reconcile the differences and walk the tightrope as they acquire a 360-degree view of their audience? 

Pocket the Trust of the Digital Consumer

As companies scale, so too does the data they collect. While it goes without saying that trust continues to enable any brand-consumer relationship, it can only be nurtured over time by companies who demonstrate the ability to tap into the data-sharing mindset of consumers. And the statistics are clear: Over 80% of consumers are happy to share their personal data in exchange for offers, discounts, or similar benefits. This willingness has created a white space for companies to collaborate with consumers to create value, building out business models that reward consumers for their interactions.

As the brand-consumer relationship becomes increasingly collaborative in nature, the execution of trust will be a carefully designed system of reward and recognition beyond the static nature of transactions.

Gamification in the Driver’s Seat for Data

Companies that look to go beyond the existing models of engagement understand the importance of keeping the consumer conversation fresh and genuine. With gamification, gaming mechanics are built into the consumer-brand relationship, enhancing user interaction and engagement. With gamification, fun becomes a strategic tool for businesses to motivate greater participation and loyalty from consumers.

Companies such as Under Armour have hopped on the bandwagon through its gamified trivia mobile application, and Nike has also dropped a virtual reality game across its physical stores. These approaches appeal to today’s digital consumer as they spin a new paradigm onto what is often an outdated understanding of consumer behaviour.

As companies enrich the consumer journey with insights gleaned from the wealth of data on their hands, gamification can be a powerful tool in facilitating the conversation. As a multiplier of the consumer experience, gamification is fast becoming the way forward for brands and businesses who aim to spark excitement and drive loyalty to ultimately win over the fickle consumer.

Corral Data into Intelligence

While data serves as the digital river connecting both the internal and external ecosystems, the journey does not end at the collection point. Data has little value. Insight has a lot of value. The abundance of information in a digital age has to be accompanied by an intuitive understanding of data as part of the equation, rather than the answer.

As consumers reclaim ownership of their digital experience, companies find themselves at a crossroads as to how they confer value—personalization? Convenience? Simplicity? The key to creating value for both business and consumer lies not only in producing insights but also in building out an environment buttressed by trust where data-driven insights can be leveraged for good.

Gamification is one out-of-the-box solution businesses can pursue to collect data and develop insights, all while providing value for consumers. Data will continue to count as an advantage in the highly competitive business landscape. But as privacy concerns mount and the field gets more crowded, the pressure to produce rewarding experiences will increase as well. With that in mind, businesses will have to seek new ways to reinvent the customer relationship, garner insight, and boost loyalty. Otherwise, they will be left behind in an age where disruption is the only constant.

Nithinan Boonyawattanapisut is the CEO and cofounder of HotNow. A serial entrepreneur with a successful career in the video games industry, Nithinan is also the cofounder of Axion Games, one of the leading AAA independent video game studio in China. Nithinan oversaw record-breaking games such as Gears of War, one of the most successful Xbox games, Infinity Blade, the fastest-selling iOS app in history at launch, and Rising Fire, selected as Tencent’s headline shooting game for 2018.