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Why Gamification is the Future of Brand Marketing

05‏/12‏/2023

Callum Moates

Gamification is the integration of game-like elements into non-game contexts. It's a powerful marketing strategy used across industries from retail to fitness to enhance customer engagement, motivation, and loyalty. At its core, it leverages psychological principles to tap into individuals' intrinsic motivations. By incorporating game elements like challenges, points, and rewards, gamification transforms routine activities into enjoyable experiences, building a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Starbucks has successfully employed gamification strategies to enhance the interactivity and drive sales of its products. 

The Starbucks Rewards program, launched in 2009, has gained massive popularity with 60 million memberships globally, as reported by CoinDesk in 2022. The program contributes to 50% of the brand’s business. Starbucks Rewards successfully leveraged a point-based system where customers accumulate stars based on purchases, which they could redeem to earn rewards like free drinks or food. 

This blog dives into how the metaverse or 3D internet are apt for gamification strategies. It highlights how brands can build loyalty programs around gamification and collect large amounts of data to better understand consumer behavior and preferences.

The metaverse as a gamified space

Brands have increasingly recognized the metaverse’s potential as a novel and captivating platform for connecting with consumers at a deeper level, building awareness, and nurturing loyalty. The immersive nature of this space allows brands to create interactive and engaging experiences beyond traditional advertising by seamlessly integrating their products or services into virtual worlds where users willingly participate in activities.

Here are some ways brands are leveraging the metaverse through gamified marketing strategies

  • Immersive events in the metaverse: Brands often use virtual worlds to host immersive events and product launches or even create branded in-world spaces. Users can actively engage with branded content, experience products in a virtual environment, and earn virtual rewards or exclusive items through gamified challenges. This approach enhances brand visibility and capitalizes on the metaverse's participatory nature, where users willingly invest time and attention. A great example of this is Mastercard’s ‘Your True Self is Priceless’ project, which Mastercard launched in the metaverse with the support of Landvault. As a part of their campaign targeted at encouraging people to embrace their authentic selves anchored around New York City Pride, the metaverse activation allowed individuals to connect through live events, collect digital assets, and engage in activities, resulting in 100,000 minutes spent in the space.


  • Virtual stores and shared shopping experiences: Brands can create virtual storefronts or partner with existing platforms to sell digital and physical items through the 3D internet. These stores can have interactive environments that align with the brand's identity and values. Users, in turn, become active participants in the brand narrative, contributing to a sense of community. For example, Samsung introduced a metaverse space in Decentraland in January 2022, mirroring its physical store in New York City. Since its inception, the virtual store has attracted over 120,000 visitors, enabling them to browse various products, engage with in-game characters, complete missions, and more within the virtual environment.


  • Novel forms of advertising in the metaverse: The metaverse also offers opportunities for brands to explore novel forms of advertising, such as virtual sponsorships, branded game elements, and in-world challenges. The American fast food chain Wendy’s took a new approach to advertising by creating a unique in-game character on Fortnite’s hit battle royale game, available in the ‘food fight’ game mode where the character was on a mission to ‘destroy frozen beef.’ This campaign was a great way to connect with customers and showcase brand value in the metaverse.

Building brand loyalty through gamification

Gamification serves as a great strategy to build brand loyalty. By engaging with a memorable and fun brand experiences, consumers remember a brand longer, get emotionally attached, and become loyal customers. One of the most prevalent applications of gamification in building loyalty is implementing engaging loyalty programs, challenges, and rewards.

  • Loyalty programs: Loyalty programs are quintessential gamification tools that incentivize customers to engage with a brand consistently. By earning points or rewards for purchases or other desired behaviors, customers are motivated to remain loyal. The accumulation of points is a tangible representation of the customer's progress and investment in the brand, creating a sense of achievement and value. These programs often incorporate tiered structures, offering escalating benefits as customers move up loyalty levels, thereby further enhancing the gamified experience.


  • Challenges: Including competitive elements like rankings, leaderboards, and mini-games into brand-consumer interactions represents a dynamic way to engage customers and encourage specific behaviors. Whether it's making additional purchases, referring friends, or completing specific tasks, challenges introduce an element of competition and achievement. Customers are motivated to overcome these challenges to earn rewards or advance on the leaderboard.


  • Rewards: Rewards are the key motivators in gamification, providing customers with tangible benefits for their engagement. These can include discounts, free products, or exclusive access to events. Rewards can serve as immediate incentives and contribute to a sense of exclusivity. The anticipation of earning rewards keeps customers engaged and invested in the brand, fostering a long-term relationship.

One particular industry is known for its pioneering loyalty programs: airlines. Airlines can craft customized game elements that reward passengers based on travel patterns and preferences. An example is the implementation of Delta Air Lines' gamified loyalty program, ‘SkyMiles,’ which includes elements like points, tiered loyalty, and fee-based loyalty features. Initially, the company used miles traveled to calculate rewards, but a recent program restructuring has shifted focus to cash spent.

Gamification metrics and data analytics

Gamification is a potent tool for marketers, offering a rich data source to analyze user behavior and refine strategies effectively. Key metrics such as engagement, completion rates, and user feedback are pivotal in this analytical process.

  • Engagement: Engagement metrics gauge user participation and interaction within gamified elements by measuring the frequency and duration of user interactions. High engagement signals active user involvement, indicating the success of gamified features in capturing attention and fostering a positive user experience.


  • Completion rates: Completion rates measure the percentage of users who successfully finish gamified tasks or activities. High completion rates signify user motivation and satisfaction with gamified elements.


  • User feedback: User feedback encompasses comments, reviews, and surveys that capture user opinions and experiences with gamified features. Marketers analyze user comments and reviews to understand first-hand user experiences, using them to enhance overall user satisfaction.

Nike Run Club leverages gamification to boost mobile app engagement and user retention by encouraging users to join challenges and unlock achievements. The app is a valuable data collection tool, capturing information on users' sports preferences, activity levels, and running styles. Nike utilizes this data to personalize the user experience and upsell products on the app based on the user’s profile and preferences.

Success stories in metaverse marketing

AMD x Fortnite

AMD, the computer hardware brand, left a mark in the metaverse by collaborating with MakaMakes, creating four innovative maps on Fortnite Creative. The experience featured islands intricately designed to resemble an AMD RX 6000 graphics card and an AMD Ryzen 5000 processor.

The engagement didn't end there; players had the opportunity to participate in diverse game modes, from free-for-all battles to box fights and capture the flag. Additionally, AMD partnered with Maingear to give AMD Battle Arena Fortnite gamers an opportunity to win a gaming PC powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 processor and Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card. AMD's adept marketing strategies are evident in its ability to elevate the gaming experience.

The success of AMD's campaign can be attributed to two key factors. Firstly, the strategic choice of Fortnite as a way to access its 350 million users. Secondly, AMD masterfully integrated its product into the game by incorporating AMD hardware onto the creative map, creating a seamless way for users to view its products.

Gucci x Zepeto

Gucci partnered with Zepeto, a metaverse game and social media platform known for personalized avatars. This collaboration enables users to adorn their Zepeto 3-D avatars with pieces from Gucci's latest collections, connect with others on 'Zepeto Street' and freely explore the Gucci Villa. Users can get pieces from the House's collections through in-app purchases. Notably, other luxury brands like Valentino and Marc Jacobs have previously joined forces with games like Animal Crossing to enhance social content and broaden their reach.

Landvault’s metaverse experience for the French Army 

Landvault collaborated with the French Armed Forces Ministry to launch an immersive metaverse experience on Decentraland. Tailored to engage and recruit talents aged 18-35, this initiative introduces a virtual training course with themed outposts, gamified challenges, and educational components. Completing challenges unlocks exclusive wearables and lets players progress to the next stage, while top performers on the leaderboard earn a virtual camouflage suit for their avatar. The virtual experience received high engagement, evidenced by the redemption of over 600 wearables. Creating digital experiences reshapes recruitment strategies, making government careers more appealing to the younger demographic. The activation is also a great way to invite participants to build skills and values essential to military service and explore military career opportunities.

Conclusion

Gamification utilizes game-based mechanics and experience design elements that have proven vital in motivating individuals to complete specific tasks or activities. Owing to its engaging nature, it is a significant component of several brand marketing and loyalty programs across industries. 

The metaverse offers unprecedented opportunities for brands to integrate seamlessly into virtual worlds and engage their audience base through immersive events, virtual storefronts, and in-game advertising. Brands can also build a loyal customer base by integrating elements like points, challenges, and rewards into their marketing strategies. Adapting and refining their programs through data collected through these programs is also crucial as it gives a better understanding of customer behavior. Success stories and collaborations of gamification like AMD and Fortnite, Gucci and Zepeto, and the French Armed Forces Ministry and Decentraland showcase gamification's broad use cases and applicability in the 3D internet. As brands continue to embrace gamification, it becomes clear that the intersection of technology and gaming is a formidable force in modern marketing.

Are you an organization or brand looking to develop a gamified experience in the metaverse? We’ll help you build, scale, and monetize your game in the metaverse to engage and educate users while driving sales and increasing customer loyalty. Get in touch with us!

05‏/12‏/2023

Callum Moates

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We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023 Landvault

Wam Group All rights reserved

We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved

We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved