29 Oct Gamification
Gamification has rapidly become a trend in the marketing field. Some marketers think of gamification as a new name for old marketing tools or as a new way of exploiting customers. In contrast, others regard it as a valid way to improve the value of a service. Gamification can be situated in a previously unoccupied space of marketing thinking. For instance, previously, full games have been applied as a value-added service on product web pages, and a series of games have been applied in educating consumers. Furthermore, loyalty programs can resemble game mechanisms, and have been applied to tender economic benefits to customers in exchange for their loyalty. However, the prior ways in which games and consumer behaviors have come together in marketing are not exactly the same as in gamification’s popular conception.
From the perspective of service marketing, gamification can be defined as “a process of enhancing a service with affordances for gameful experiences in order to support user’s overall value creation” (Huotari and Hamari, 2012, p. 19). The conceptualization is rooted in service dominant logic (Vargo and Lusch, 2004), which suggests that customers are the creators of value, and the company can merely provide affordances for the customer to experience gamefulness. This conceptualization of gamification implicitly states that the customer in the end determines whether they are engaged in gameful experiences and whether consequently the perceived value of the service is increased. Additionally, Huotari and Hamari (2012) emphasized that gamification has an effect on retention and customer loyalty, but the customers should first be engaged in gameful experiences. Gamification simply refers to adding game mechanisms into a service, which if well implemented becomes more engaging and attains better retention of customers.
- Huotari, K., & Hamari, J. (2012). Defining gamification: a service marketing perspective. In Proceedings of the 16th International Academic MindTrek Conference, Tampere, Finland, October 3-5, 2012, New York: ACM Press, New York, NY.
- Vargo, S., & Lusch, R. (2004). Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing. Journal of Marketing, 68 (1), 1-17.