First, let me start off by stating, my only affiliation with Groupon is that I used 'em last week at Kennedy's Irish Pub & Indian Curry, here in San Francisco (yes, there is such a place). Next, let's level-set on definitions, and give a little background for any newbies. Gamification is defined by Oxford University Press, as the "application of concepts and techniques from games to other areas of activity." Gamification for business is the practice of adding game mechanics to digital experiences to improve engagement, participation, and loyalty. Brands are beginning to understand this, and we're seeing these games, more and more. Groupon is one of these recent gamification adopters.
"That Thing's Staring at Me, Make It Stop"
I'd seen him before. Peering curiously at me from the right column where he's nestled. But I let him just stay in his corner, and went about my business the last two or three times I was on Groupon's website. On my next visit, however, I bit. I couldn't help myself. He was staring at me again, and I was entirely engrossed. So I clicked-on..."Clicky."
Gamification win #1: Click-through.
Navigate through the Clicky "Spin My Face" ad, and I'm on the Clicky page. The layout there is intuitive, making him easy to engage with. You quickly understand this is a game of sorts, and the outcome is unpredicable.
Clicky is massive. Like a lover staring deep into your soul, he calls to you with deep, penetrating eyes. "What's behind there? What's he thinking?," I disquisitively wonder. And there's really only one way to find out--spin him. Which I'm compelled to do. After all, deep eyes or not, I'm incentivised with the prospect of winning: "Score up to $100 off!"
To spin Clicky requires a quick sign-up. I'm not talking about seven input fields requiring some credit card information at the end, either. With the sign-up's Facebook integration, you don't even need to fumble around looking for your Groupon password. A few clicks and approvals and I'm in. That good, seamless integration gets me quickly to the stage of engagement with the game.
Gamification win #2: Engagement. I'm in action.
Next, I spin. Then, I lose. But my mere participation has earned me rights to exclusive content--offers not seen on the other pages. Additionally, I'm told precisely when I'm eligible for another spin (in 24 hours), and even given the opportunity to "earn more" spins if I do some Facebook sharing. If I choose to share this, I'm then associating my online identity with the brand. That's good use of business social media for Groupon, and a generous move for me.
Gamification win #3: Social media sharing. I share.
Groupon does this great thing with Clicky and gamification, they take you behind the scenes of their conceptual process via a web video. The YouTube searchable video is four minutes long, and takes you through interviews of the creative teams who brought about the Clicky tool. Creating and promoting this does two things in effectively bringing me closer to Groupon as a brand:
- It allows me to relate to the company culture and personality, and
- It introduces me to some of the people who work there, humanizing Groupon
And the video content itself resonates well to me. Afterall, we've all been there--facing what seems like an overwhelming task. So many stakeholders counting on you, and the finance guys asking a lot of probing questions about where your budget's going. This web video shows that with teamwork, some sleepless nights, and a working knowledge of comparative anatomy, Groupon was able to deliver with "Clicky." And all this means that I'll be back.
Gamification win #4: Loyalty.
Until then, I wait in eager anticipation for delivery of the Claw Candy and Toy Machine (with LED Lights and Music) I ordered in the time I was on the site playing around with Clicky.
Gamification win #5: Conversion