Harnessing the Addictive Power of Gaming to Grow Your Business | #DSW16

Anyone who knows a gamer can tell you that their itch to play on a daily basis, sometimes for hours on end, borders on a legitimate addiction. Now diverse businesses and organizations looking to increase customer engagement are trying to give their applications and products the same habit-forming power by adding gaming aspects. “Gamification” is popping up in both for-profit and nonprofit sectors and making previously humdrum tasks a lot more interesting for users.

David Fares, a Texas-based web and game developer, says that more and more companies are using reward systems like badges that tap into users’ impulses to return for another hit. However, he explains that most are only playing to one type of gamer, and there is a ton of potential in playing to the other types. The badges are attractive to “the achiever,” he says. There are three other types — “community members,” “explorers,” and “killers” — and creative ways to engage these types could have exciting, profit-growing prospects for companies.

Fares told attendees at a Dallas Startup Week presentation that he is a coffee enthusiast and organizes a coffee club called Video Game Open Coffee at local coffee shops. He then said that just off the top of his head, he could see potential for coffee shop owners to use gaming to increase business. He mentioned the free drink punch cards some already use. But to play to the “killer” type gamer, you could have a customer of the month award, he suggested.

“One of the areas where a lot of people are actually doing gamification and doing it well is in the education space,” Fares said. He spoke about some teachers reversing the traditional grading system of starting at 100 and subtracting for error, and instead grading additively for things done well.

Fares said that businesses can use gamificiation to improve performance and productivity. He used Uber’s driver rating system as an example. He also mentioned a design firm that gives repeat customers a way to win a Kawasaki motorcycle through a points system.

One productivity app that uses a game-like scheme is HabitRPG, which Fares personally endorses. “It actually helped me become more productive as a developer,” he said.

Watch the entire video to learn more.

R.D. Danes