Brain Games — How to Spice Up Promotions

  • May 12, 2016

It's called gamification — turning a business objective into a game. Supposing you have a goal of getting employees more deeply engaged in creative processes that result in product improvements. Google was recently faced with that question. They have a well-earned reputation for hiring some pretty smart people. To get the most out of their new recruits (they’re called Nooglers), as well as encouraging team-building, they like to get them involved in some pretty unorthodox activities. One favorite variety is the scavenger hunt.

Yes, that’s already a game. But they didn't stop there. They added another layer. Or two. The first was the idea of creating a custom branded jigsaw puzzle. This is a time-tested brainteaser for engineers. But then, the classic was blended with the new by including a QR code into the puzzle design. Once completed, the jigsaw puzzle had to be scanned with a smartphone (either iPhone or Android, though you can guess which one Google prefers). The scan took them to a web page that gave clues to the next step in the scavenger hunt.

Games and contests can increase interest and participation in promotional progams. 

This Google activity with its integrated marketing is just one example of companies’ increased adoption of gamification to facilitate employee engagement and retention. Incorporating competitive elements into the onboarding process for new employees, or into engagement efforts, allows employees to become immersed in company culture and see their role in the achievement of company-wide goals.

A survey by the Aberdeen Group found that companies using gamification see a 48-percent improvement in engagement and a 38-percent reduction in turnover. While not every company has the resources and staff numbers of Google, the same tools of mobile devices, apps and scannable codes allow gamification to be scalable and affordable for businesses of all types and sizes.

Here are some examples of other ways gamification can apply to different business goals:

  • Gamify Promotional Programs.
    Gamification is a great way to boost participation in promotional programs. Incorporating a competitive element into workplace safety programs, customer loyalty programs and even performance evaluations can add value to rewards that include promotional products.
  • Create a points system for safety awareness.
    Give a workplace safety program a boost by incorporating incentives that employees can earn points toward by watching safety videos or completing advanced training courses.
  • Reward loyalty with customization.
    Loyalty programs that award points to end users, who then redeem points for merchandise, can be made more desirable by offering items through a website that lets them customize a product by selecting color, style, logo placement or decoration type.

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