The name game: How gamification is helping brands stay front-of-mind

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As it's revealed this week that sales of board games have soared Carswell Gould has been looking at how gamification is helping marketers increase awareness, sales and engagement.

What is gamifcation and how can it be used in marketing?

As the title suggests, gamification is the process of turning something into a game. Teachers have been doing it for years in a bid to get children to learn in a fun, and therefore more memorable, way. Think back to how you’d sing your times tables, take part in trivia-based treasure hunts and play the ‘let’s see who can stay quiet the longest game’ (they got you there). The exact same principles apply to gamification in a marketing sense.

If you can turn your marketing campaign into something interactive and, above all, something fun that consumers actually want to engage with, you have a much greater chance of your product or brand being front of mind.

Here are three of our favourite examples of marketers using gamification to drive their business:


No-one who is partial to a chicken sandwich or McFlurry could have escaped this savvy use of gamifacation from the fast food giant. McDonald’s Monopoly game was simple - collect Monopoly themed tokens on certain items of food and collect enough of the same colour to win a prize. The initiative led to increased sales and has been so successful that it’s been running ever since its inception in 1987.


The sportswear firm’s Nike+ Fuelband was the catalyst for its latest wave of gamification. The product is a bracelet which can monitor user movements and track workouts when used in conjunction with the company’s free Nike+ App. Nike uses the two tools to congratulate users when they achieve goals but even more cleverly, they have integrated it with social media so consumers can challenge friends and battle for their place on leaderboards. The social element not only increases engagement but drives wider awareness through the shareability.

Ambition Group

This example comes from our work with one of our own clients. Ambition Group is a project management consultancy in Holland. With its consultants often having to navigate clients through such complex issues, they use gamification to make it easier to understand. Earlier this year we helped the company increase engagement with potential customers by honing in on this unique tactic and using it as a marketing tool. At one of the biggest international project management shows we turned its stand into a giant Monopoly board. Not only was it a huge draw to delegates who wanted to find out what it was, it created the perfect opening conversation topic that allowed Ambition Group to talk about what it does and how it is different.

(The game we created for the international event was a big hit)

The use of gamification is a powerful strategy for companies to support the sale of their products. Identify your target audience to determine which gamification tactic makes sense to your brand.

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