Companies across the globe have continued to strive for new approaches that ensure business growth and consumer retention. In recent years, gamification has been a highly effective principle that has sought to heighten market interaction through the implementation of game-playing elements.
As a result of the growth of gamification, we're going to analyze how Japanese businesses and beyond have been able to implement gaming principles into their marketing techniques.
How and Why Has it Been Used?
While there are many different reasons why companies would look towards gamification techniques in their long-term strategies, the principle purpose of utilizing the contemporary approach to marketing is to enhance incentivized user experiences. During the last decade, some of the world's most well-known organizations have explored the use of the technique in Japan.
Back in 2011, Coca Cola used game-playing elements in an attempt to revolutionize consumer experiences with traditional vending machines through their Happiness Quest program. The idea involved integrating QR codes with numerous machines, which would then enable people to create virtual avatars on their smartphone and, in turn, earn points to customize their character, and several different badges.
Similarly to Coca Cola, Pocari Sweat, a soft drink company in Japan, focused much of its marketing campaign around gaming principles in 2010. The concept was based on battling comic book monsters in its Lonopolis game creation, which, when players participated, resulted in them gaining various in-game rewards. Furthermore, KFC Japan partnered with Gamify to create a mobile game, Shrimp Attack, to promote their ebi shrimp. Following the release of the smartphone title, the app amassed over 854,000 plays, which undoubtedly raised consumer awareness in the new product.
Effective Across Different Markets
While the concept of gamification has proved beneficial to the food and drink industry in Japan over the last few years, the implementation of game-playing elements has established itself in many other global industries. Unlike other companies that utilize gaming components within their marketing strategies, Nike has intertwined fitness with gamification to heighten motivation levels. The Nike Run Club, by the company's own admission, uses the approach to promote user engagement and retention while making exercise routines more enjoyable.
Outside of fitness, Japan's iGaming sector has also become centered around elements of gamification in its attempts to encourage repeat gaming. The unique loyalty program which is available at Manekichi, a Japanese online casino, is modeled on a five-tier system that rewards continued gaming with various bonuses and gifts across a range of different slot games, such as Rise of Olympus and Starburst, as well as live casino titles. The program starts all users at the bronze level, but by playing games and progressing to the higher ranks, players reach bonuses and rewards like lower wagering requirements.
What Does the Future Hold?
Ultimately, it seems unequivocally clear that gamification will continue to be at the heart of marketing strategies for many businesses in the coming years, especially given the importance of digital technology in contemporary society. From the food and drink industry to fitness and casino gaming, there are very few sectors that haven't been revolutionized by gamification elements.