Gamification Sparks Engagement: Infusing Elements of Gaming into your Loyalty Programme

Incentive Solutions


Customer loyalty programmes have become an essential tool for businesses to retain and engage their customers. However, traditional loyalty programmes often lack the excitement and motivation needed to keep customers actively participating. This is where gamification comes into play.


By infusing elements of gaming, such as challenges and rewards, into loyalty programmes, businesses can spark a new level of engagement among their customers. In this blog, we will explore the concept of gamification and how it ignites the human desire for achievement, ultimately enhancing the effectiveness of loyalty programmes.

Understanding Gamification

  1. Scratch and Win: Participants have the opportunity to scratch a virtual card or surface to reveal instant prizes or rewards. For example, users can scratch a digital ticket to reveal discount codes or freebies.
fun at work
  1. Spin and Win: Users can spin a virtual wheel to win prizes or rewards. This mechanic adds an element of chance and excitement. For instance, spinning a wheel can give users the chance to win exclusive discounts or special offers.
  1. Surveys as a Fun Game Mechanic: Instead of traditional surveys, businesses can turn them into interactive and engaging games. Participants can earn points or rewards for completing surveys, making the process more enjoyable. This approach allows businesses to gather valuable insights while providing a fun experience for users.

By incorporating elements like points, levels, badges, leaderboards, and these additional types of games, businesses can create a sense of competition, challenge, and achievement. This taps into the innate human desire for accomplishment and provides participants with a fun and rewarding experience, both online and offline.Gamification is the process of applying various game mechanics and design principles to non-game contexts like loyalty programmes. These mechanics include:

The Role of Leaderboards

For many of our clients, we create leaderboards that show how many points various programme members have earned.  This creates a sense of friendly competition and motivates participants to earn more points in order to move up the leaderboard.


In addition, we use badges as virtual rewards for completing certain tasks or achieving specific milestones within the loyalty programme. These badges serve as visual representations of accomplishment and can be proudly displayed by participants on their profile pages.


The Role of Currency and Levels

A currency is a fundamental element of gamification in loyalty programmes. The currency can be points, tokens, dollars or even a made up currency aligned to a clients brand.

A virtual currency can be earned through various activities such as making purchases, referring friends, or engaging with the brand on social media. Participants can then redeem the currency for rewards, discounts, or special experiences offered by the business.

Levels add an extra layer of thrill and drive to the experience, elevating excitement to new heights.

The Power of Engagement

Engagement is crucial for the success of any loyalty programme. When customers are actively engaged, they are more likely to make repeat purchases, refer friends, and become brand advocates. Gamification has proven to be a powerful tool for increasing engagement by making participation enjoyable and interactive.

culture boost

It creates a sense of excitement and anticipation as customers strive to reach higher levels, unlock achievements, or compete with others. This sustained engagement keeps customers invested in the loyalty programme and encourages ongoing interaction with the brand.

We’re able to utilise a number of games within our programmes that enable participants to gain points through skill and chance based games. They compete against each other or against the computer to try to win additional points or complementary additions to the programme.


The Human Desire for Achievement

The human desire for achievement is a fundamental aspect of human psychology. It is deeply ingrained in our nature to seek challenges, set goals, and strive for success. This desire is fueled by the satisfaction and fulfillment that come from overcoming obstacles and accomplishing tasks.

When applied to loyalty programmes, gamification taps into this desire for achievement, providing participants with a sense of purpose and progress.

Research on the Human Desire for Achievement

Numerous studies have explored the impact of the human desire for achievement on motivation and engagement. For example, a study published in the Journal of Management Education observed the effect of gamification on learning engagement among students. The research found that engagement was significantly higher during gamified sessions, demonstrating the power of gamification in stimulating achievement-oriented behavior[^3]. Another study conducted by Matthias Baldauf examined the potential of gamification to act as a spark for motivation in e-participation. The research concluded that gamification could serve as a catalyst to initiate user engagement and enhance participation[^4].

For users, gamification fosters increased engagement by transforming tasks into enjoyable challenges. It taps into our intrinsic motivation, making activities more appealing and encouraging active participation. Additionally, the element of competition and rewards further fuels motivation, spurring individuals to strive for continuous improvement and surpass their own limitations.

From a client perspective, the implementation of gamification can yield significant benefits. Increased user engagement leads to improved customer loyalty, higher retention rates, and enhanced brand perception. Moreover, the data collected through gamification provides valuable insights into user behavior, preferences, and performance, enabling clients to tailor their offerings and experiences to better meet the needs and expectations of their target audience.

Overall, the utilization of gamification has proven to be a powerful tool for driving engagement, motivation, and success, benefiting both users and clients in numerous ways. Numerous studies, including those conducted by experts in the field, offer robust empirical evidence that supports the powerful impact of gamification on enhancing engagement and motivation. By strategically leveraging the innate human desire for achievement, gamification can yield a plethora of advantages for both users and clients alike.

Let’s delve into the advantages and commercial aspects of gamification. This strategy encourages increased customer interaction with your brand, leading to more frequent purchases. Moreover, it offers invaluable customer data collection opportunities, incentivises specific actions, and fosters engagement beyond mere transactions.

Examples of Successful Gamified Loyalty Programmes

The effectiveness of gamification in sparking engagement can be witnessed through various successful loyalty programmes implemented around the world. One notable example is Starbucks’ My Starbucks Rewards.


With its tiered rewards system, personalized offers, and interactive challenges, the programme keeps customers engaged and motivated to earn more stars. This gamified approach has resulted in increased customer participation, repeat purchases, and brand loyalty.

Another example is Nike’s NikePlus loyalty programme. By incorporating gamified elements like challenges, badges, and leaderboards, Nike has successfully transformed running into a social and competitive experience. Users can track their runs, compete with friends, and earn rewards, fostering a sense of achievement and camaraderie among participants.

These examples highlight how gamification can elevate customer engagement, making loyalty programmes more exciting, interactive, and effective.

We can help

Incorporating gamification into loyalty programmes has become a game-changer for businesses seeking to enhance customer engagement. We have a number of off the shelf digital solutions that we can incorporate into our programmes. We also offer bespoke solutions that can be used tactically to deliver certain behaviours or can be used to elevate the fun side of a programme at any time, building engagement when it begins to lapse.

By tapping into the human desire for achievement, gamified loyalty programmes provide participants with a sense of purpose and motivation, ultimately leading to increased customer loyalty and advocacy. As demonstrated by research and real-world examples, infusing elements of gaming into loyalty programmes sparks engagement, making participation enjoyable and rewarding. So, if you want to ignite the passion and enthusiasm of your customers, consider gamification as a powerful tool to elevate your loyalty programme to new heights.



  1. “Why to gamify performance management? Consequences of user engagement in gamification” – ScienceDirect[^1]
  2. “How can gamification improve MOOC student engagement” – Delft University of Technology[^2]
  3. “Mechanism of gamification: Role of flow in the behavioral and emotional pathways of engagement in management education” – ScienceDirect[^3]
  4. “Why so serious? The Role of Gamification on Motivation and Engagement in e-Participation” [^4]
  5. Business-to-Business Gamified Loyalty Programmes in Australia and New Zealand
  6. Conclusion


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