At least since the introduction of frequent-flyer points, companies have known that enabling consumers to collect points, gain rewards and achieve levels boosts their loyalty and usage frequency. Adding the element of competition can foster downright addiction. It’s something every kid knows but adults tend to forget: the most boring tasks can become engaging if they’re turned into a game.
Today, all types of businesses are exploiting game-design tac- tics in non-gaming settings, from fitness-tracking apps that let friends compete against each other to employee-training pro- grams that reward participation. Gabe Zicherman, author of Game-Based Marketing and all- around gamification guru, predicts that by 2015, every mid- sized and large company will employ a game designer. But as more businesses adopt games and leaderboards, it will become increasingly challenging to stand out. Not surprisingly, demand for gamification experts is soaring: seminars and workshops in major cities often sell out within days.