Originally posted in The Federal Credit Union magazine.
Affinion Group is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for AD&D Insurance, Enhanced Flex Checking, and Identity Theft Protection.
Although the concept has been around for decades, the term “gamification” was coined in 2002 and exponentially gained popularity around 2010. Gamification is the use of game mechanics to engage users and influence behavior. It’s widely used for diverse applications in marketing, education, loyalty building, productivity boosting, security authentication, incentive programs, and more. Chances are you already participate in several gamification programs.
One example of gamification dates back to the 1980s, when the airlines launched their frequent flyer programs. The result is millions of participants earning points or miles in exchange for their loyalty. The airlines quickly determined that air travelers were more interested in achieving elite status than earning rewards. Leveraging the consumer’s need for status —or achievement— is demonstrated in other gamified applications such as receiving endorsements on LinkedIn and “likes” on Facebook, earning badges on TripAdvisor or Yelp, becoming a mayor on Foursquare, or tracking fitness activities with the wearable Jawbone.
According to a Gartner report, more than 70 percent of the Forbes Global 2000 companies will have at least one gamified application by 2014. These companies will invest billions of dollars over the next few years to implement gamification and, ultimately, differentiate themselves through gamification strategies. As consumers become more accustomed to gamification in their everyday lives, it makes good business sense for you to engage both your members — and your employees — in the same manner.
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