Gamification is the buzzword in the Valley these days. Not really. It has been around since the first days of tech startup boom, just that they didn’t call it that. Only when there was a proliferation of similar apps with no real difference between them did gamification start being touted as a game changer in the tech sphere. It worked brilliantly for apps like FourSquare, and catapulted them to worldwide fame.
This started a spate of apps jumping on to the gamification bandwagon, but only lately has real innovation raised its head, showcasing apps who have taken gamification to a domain that has never known it.
Here are five places where you thought gamification wasn’t possible –
1. Restaurant Reviews
Zomato took restaurant reviews to a whole new level with users actually battling it out to go to more places, earn more points, and become a ‘better’ foodie, though I don’t know how that is possible. Zomato’s bottom line wasn’t hurt either, as the company’s partnerships with restaurants and coffee shops made sure that the dollars kept flowing in.
2. Music Learning
gTar, the TechCrunch Disrupt winner from last year took something all of us artistic individuals have always wanted to do – learn to play the guitar, and actually made people do it. How? By gamifying the process of learning the world’s favorite instrument. Let’s just say this great idea must have led to some really romantic proposals.
3. Physical Activity
The dude with the desk job has a problem – he’s sitting all the time, and seemingly cannot find the will to get up and walk, let alone exercise regularly. Fitocracy is the boon for the desk jockey, making him get up and walk, or run, even if just to get the miles up on the guy in Sweden whom you are competing with. And in the end, it doesn’t matter why you are running, does it, as long as you do run!
4. Support Software
Probably the most boring of boring software domains ever, the old ticket management system got a much needed makeover when Freshdesk unveiled its gamified helpdesk last year, called the Arcade. Support agents get to compete against each other when answering tickets, and earn points and badges for keeping customers happy and satisfied. The Arcade turned heads in the support space when it was announced, and deservedly so.
5. Online Advertising
Touted as the greatest evil to have hit mankind since the Great Plague, targeted online advertising has a saviour at last. Adzap lets consumers look at ads, ‘zap’ or terminate the ads they don’t want to see anymore, and in effect, lets consumers actually curate a list of ads for themselves. This is advertising, just done and executed so much better than traditional spray-and-pray targeting.
Gamification could be ‘the’ feature that will tip your product into the big leagues. With a pinch of humor and great execution, what these companies did can be replicated in any domain. Go ahead then, game.
Sairam Krishnan is a product marketer at Freshdesk, one of the fastest growing customer support software solutions on the planet. He is basically a content guy, but like Freshdesk, he’s programmed to do a lot of everything, which he does.