Gamification: Three Steps to Foolproof Engagement

Originally posted in The Federal Credit Union magazine.

Guest post written by Wayne Conte, Executive Vice President, Affinion Group

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.

Here’s how to get started:

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Accelerate Your Credit Union’s Auto Loans

Guest post written by Wayne Conte, Executive Vice President, Affinion Group

With over 12 million Americans still out of work, it should come as no surprise that consumers are hanging on to their cars for three to four years longer than they did in pre-recessionary times. Yet America’s long-standing love affair with cars continues — and that
presents plenty of opportunities for credit unions.

Despite the fact that consumers spent an estimated $36 billion to keep their clunkers on the road in 2011, auto purchases are making a comeback. The National Auto Dealers Association forecasts that over 13 million new cars will be bought in 2012. As many Americans start thinking about their next car, observers note that it isn’t just new car purchases that are improving — used cars and auto leases are also seeing strong increases.

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