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Real-World Rewards through Gamification: Examples from 5 Leading Brands

Traditionally, gamification rewards are exchanged as virtual goods like points, badges, and higher community status. For many businesses, this common method for building user loyalty and motivating valuable user actions is working quite well, and producing positive ROI. However, some brands are taking their gamification strategy a step further, accelerating user action by offering real-world incentives.

The following five brands go above and beyond standard gamification techniques, awarding tangible goods to users who engage in valuable behaviors throughout their sites.

Pepsi’s Sound Off is a website where fans Pepsi Sponsored TV events such as The X FACTOR, The Super Bowl, and The Grammys, can voice opinions and connect with fellow fans. Sound Off enhances TV watching by incorporating game mechanics into the site experience, giving viewers the ability to earn rewards for contributing to the site community. Fans can earn rewards by leaving comments, sharing to social networks, and “fanning” comments left by others. To encourage participation and high quality comments, Pepsi rewards the top four users with the most “fans” by featuring their comment and profile on-air, in a Pepsi advertisement, during the broadcast of a sponsored event. By providing top influencers with a this real-world exposure, Pepsi is able to amplify buzz around their brand and strengthen user loyalty.

Sony Playstation
Sony has built in gamification elements throughout the PSVita site to give console owners and fans a compelling reason to interact with like-minded gamers. Every month, Sony gives away an assortment of prizes to game participants, with prizes ranging from PSVita consoles and games to exclusive trips. To promote site activity and contributions to the community, Sony guarantees a prize for the user at the top leaderboard position, and scatters additional rewards across rest of the leaderboard. By offering high-ticket, physical rewards, Sony is able to spark valuable user actions and build a loyal user base through gamification.

Playing off the competitive nature of the London 2012 Olympics, MSN has integrated game mechanics throughout their olympic coverage site to allow users to compete against friends and other fans for their Social Games promotion. To move up the Social Games leaderboard, users can simply watch videos, share links, comment on stories, play trivia, and rate photos. By doing so, users are able boost their status from Rookie to World Champion, and are incentivized by the possibility of winning a weekly $1000 prize. Lasting the duration of the Olympics, MSN’s Social Games will award a total of $18,000 to game participants - 8 weekly winners will receive $1000 and 1 grand prize winner will receive $10,000.

White Castle
White Castle’s CraverNation website is a place where slider enthusiast can go to express their love for White Castle, upload savory pictures, and partake in craver challenges. White Castle has incorporated gamification throughout the CraverNation site to reward users with badges and higher community status such as a “lunchtime legend.” In addition to virtual rewards, White Castle also gives away weekly prizes such as tablets, lifetime sliders, and bags of swag, to users who participate in challenges. Looking at the CraverNation site, it’s obvious to see that White Castle’s strategy is working. Everyday thousands of Cravers are actively uploading photos and participating in challenges to work their way top of the leaderboard and become a top craver.

Joiz is a popular Swiss television network focused on delivering Gen-Y focused TV programming including music videos as well as lifestyle, fashion, celebrity, and nightlife shows - think of Joiz as the MTV of Switzerland. Joiz has integrated game mechanics into their web experience to reward users for actions such as logging-in through their social accounts, sharing content to social networks, commenting on videos and articles, and for bringing referral traffic to the Joiz site. In addition to rewarding users with points and badges, Joiz also dishes out real-world rewards such iTunes gift cards, tickets for music festivals and more. By doing so Joiz is able to create a positive association with its brand and build an incredibly loyal user base.

Join The Conversation

  • Oct 31 Posted 4 years ago julia r

    Great Article! I have been doing some research on gamification and how it can help my website. I am currently using FlagTap on my site, and I love it! It was so easy to integrate, I can choose which social interactions I want to reward my users for, and FlagTap provides the gamification element through a large game of Capture the Flag. FlagTap is currently in private beta stage, but I contacted them for info, and they invited me to try it. I highly recommend it to website owners who want to increase user engagement!

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