‘Gamification’ Is Finding a Place in the Business World

Six reasons why it is be the next big thing in business.

January 3, 2013

“Gamification” refers to a multitude of ways businesses engage customers and/or employees with games that are fun, transparent, well-designed, and challenging, says TIME Business.

Consider these six reasons why “gamification” can find a place in the business world:

1. The consultant craze. Firms are lining up to do business with companies that want to “gamify” their customer interfaces or employee training processes. That's because analysts claim it will be a big part of the future, with corporate gamification spending to grow to $2.8 billion by 2016.

2. Basic instincts. Humans like to interact with other humans, to compete, and to receive rewards—hence, experiences like Farmville, popularized on Facebook.

3. Technology. Access to real-time data and stunning graphics

to display the data make competition even more engaging.

4. Boredom. Consumers have short attention spans, especially in light of fast-paced entertainment available on TV and in movies. It's only natural people would seek out similar experiences elsewhere.

5. Employee satisfaction. Employees aren’t motivated only by monetary rewards. Purposeful games have the potential to improve satisfaction and success in the workforce.

6. The fantasy football effect. Few things have had more impact on the sports world in the past few years than fantasy sports. Sports leagues, however, were late to the party in realizing the potential to generate huge revenues. No company wants to miss a chance like that to “gamify”—and monetize.

“The goal of gamification is to use the dynamics and mechanics associated with games and apply them to real-world experiences,” says Matt Davis, director of innovation for the Filene Research Institute. “If misaligned incentives, boring experiences, and unmotivated audiences are the enemy of traditional financial services, gamification could be our hero.”

A recent Filene Research Institute innovation brief—“Get in the Game: How Credit Unions Can Engage Members, Solve Problems, and Improve Skills with Game Thinking”—explores how credit unions can leverage the allure of games. Visit filene.org.