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You and your customers need to play!

How businesses should think about incorporating social structures and gameplay into their businesses as a positive incentive for consumers and staff.

(Originally posted on the Qube Media Blog 

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Last week this quite interesting talk from the recent DICE Summit surfaced online. Jesse Schell addresses a few key talking points but the most interesting to me was how Gameplay could be used as an incentive in everyday life. I recommend you find half an hour today to watch this video! Once you're done read my thoughts on how you could use these ideas in your business.

Gameplay and progression are such powerful incentives for consumers and they become super charged incentives when placed in social structures. Farmville would not be played by the millions of people that play it if it wasn't for its social foundations.

Plenty of local cafes run reward point schemes, they are all pretty basic, each purchase gets you a stamp, 8 stamps gets you a freebie.These are fine but what more could those businesses do to make being a customer more fun?

What about bonus points for coming outside of lunch hours, or achievements for being the first person to order a certain meal. Rather than stamps for purchases maybe you can use them to reinforce positive behavior, bonus stamps for saying please and thank you or bringing your plate back to the bar.

Internally why not give staff experience points for performing tasks, doing the washing up, eating a fruit each day of the week, turning up on time! You can plot these online or just on a whiteboard. Perhaps when staff "level up" they can be rewarded with different things "Congratulations on reaching Level 10 Tom you have unlocked a £100 bonus!".

Start looking at your own business and look for areas where you want to positively enforce behavior, this may be in your customers or even your staff. Think about how game play and social structures can be used both online and offline to make being your customer and working in your organisation just that little more rewarding.

Word of warning just make sure your look at the strategy and not the technology. It is easy to get bogged down in setting up Twitter account and Foursquare sites but unless you know why you are doing it..dont! Also just because everyone else is doing it is not a good reason! Have fun and let me know if you come up with or see any great examples :)

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