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12 Best Examples of Gamification Across Business Spheres

November 30, 2022


Re-inventing customer experience with games.

Love for games is universal.

Whether we're playing candy crush on mobile or FIFA with friends, the feeling of triumph is common. To achieve that, we don't mind playing several rounds of the same game in one streak. Once we win, blood starts flowing through our veins again and makes us happy.

If I rephrase, the fear of losing is a great motivator for people to reach the finish line.

This gaming philosophy, or gamification, has been the current epicenter of innovation and creative visualization for brands. 

Brands are creating personalized mascots, stop-motion animation, or doodles through gamification software to ring bells of empathy and diversity among the masses.

Many non-gaming domains of education, e-commerce, banking, retail, food, beverages, and so on are creating gamification strategies to personalize their websites and stand out from the rest of the players.

Let's peek into a few famous gamification examples across different companies :

1. Fitbit

Fitbit is a consumer electronics brand that markets its wireless wearables and other gadgets through gamification. You can easily keep a tab on your overall health by downloading the Fitbit fitness app and syncing it with your Fitbit device, say, a smartwatch via BlueTooth. The device features a visual display that tracks your steps, spO2 levels, burnt calories, and many other bodily functions. 

fitbit gamificationSource: UX for the masses

Fitbit's mobile application also has been designed in a game-influenced layout, which makes it easy for you to navigate around and perform a specific action. It maintains a calendar-wise workout activity and tracks your everyday progress via real-time analytics. The app also contains user rewards for the ones who remain consistent with their exercise routines.

In a nutshell, Fitbit provides intrinsic motivation to people to walk regularly, shed off extra pounds, and stay healthy.

2. Nike run club

The Nike run club uses the game elements to display the distance you ran or walked, personalize workout suggestions, and suggest good articles. With Nike run club, you would never feel as if you're running alone. During the lockdown, the number of downloads of Nike run club hit the mark of 15.4 million as user engagement peaked. 

Nike run club  Source: 9to5Mac

Nike's run club worked by the book of psychology to make a person aware of their desires. It captures users' data like activity levels, weight, and personal interests to craft creative workout reminders. In the same vein, Nike also uses this platform to promote advertisements, which sets the backdrop for its sales growth.

Along with working on their fitness targets, users can also share their accomplishments via social media to validate their efforts.

3. Duolingo

Keeping up with the communication barriers we face, Duolingo developed a unique language learning app that works on gamification. The developers of Duolingo launched 98 educational courses that taught 39 new languages, representing every major country in the world. Duolingo's main interface comprises animated characters and color pops to catch your maximum attention.  

duolingo                                                                     Source: raw. studio
Based on the Octalysis gamification framework, the app analyses human sentiments and learning patterns in humans to create attractive reward packages. For every course you take, there is a hidden reward in form of badges or coins. It also triggers funny notifications that remind you to complete the course and become a language expert.  

duolingo octalysis framework
Duolingo's gamification approach might seem a hindrance to some, but it made others feel valued and wanted. The strategy of Duolingo to keep a prospect as the center of focus fetched them a revenue fortune.

4. KFC

A Japanese Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC outlet promoted their newest line of shrimp food items via gamification. In collaboration with Nintendo, the game designers, KFC created "Shrimp Attack." To win this game, users had to defend a KFC castle by slicing as many shrimps as they could, just like a fruit ninja.

Anyone who visited the KFC website could play it for free and earn reward coins for discounted meal combos at the nearest KFC outlet. Initially struggling to attract customers, the brand suddenly saw a 22% increase in game registrations. Eventually, KFC witnessed a spike of 106% in its overall sales growth.

KFC shrimp attack                                                                     Source:


M&M's eye spy pretzel game is one of the most famous examples of gamification and how one should use it. When M&M released a new pretzel-flavored chocolate, it decided to advertise them using gamification. They launched an eye-spy game for consumers. Like Candy Crush, they had to find one hidden pretzel among thousands of M&Ms placed inside a rectangular box.

This simple but inquisitive game brought tangible benefits to the campaign, along with increased sales and ARR growth for M&M. The brand's Facebook page got 25,000 new likes, 6,000 shares, and 10,000 comments. M&M's initiative to engage with social media users and spread the launch buzz won the praise of every marketer.

pretzel                                                                          Source: Pinterest

6. Donut Papi

Donut Papi is a small Australian Donut brand based out of New South Wales that improved user experience through gamification. They partnered with "Gamify" to launch a mobile game, known as “Match-game” which users can download through the website.
The prize pool for game winners consisted of one weekly giveaway; one box of donuts (6 donuts). The person who kept a consistently high score won it.
The results? Traffic went to the next level! In about two weeks, Donut Papi doubled its previous customer acquisition numbers.

7. Coca-Cola and Nescafé

Both Coca-Cola and Nescafé leveraged gamification to elevate the in-store product experience. In partnership with Ksubaka (a personalization engine), they created immersive "Moments of Joy" for their consumers. If consumers were a few feet away from the product shelf,  their smartphones captured MoJo signals.
As the user clicks on the notification, the brand prompts him to complete a call to action before claiming the reward. The step could be anything, like filling out a survey form or liking a social media post. This way, both brands earned numerous likes and shares, which aided in higher conversions.

Coca-Cola, in particular also came up with the idea of gamified vending machine where, if you hug a machine, scratch a card, or say a different phrase to it, it would reward you with a free can of the soft drink.

Coca cola                                                                        Source: EnGaming

 8. Pepsi Max

Pepsi Max unfurled the next generation of gamification through their BTL marketing campaigns. They created a 3D simulation of a virtual dragon shooting lasers or a tiger charging at passengers waiting at a London bus stop using augmented reality technology. This experience was horrifying but entertaining at the same time. It also established Pepsi Max as a trendsetter in Martech.

                                                                         Source: YouTube

9. Starbucks

When it comes to being up-to-speed with tech trends, no one does it better than the Starbucks coffee chain. With the "My Rewards" program of the Starbucks application, customers earn a few stars or points every time they place an order. On completion of a specific number of stars, consumers avail of discounted vouchers at the nearest coffee outlet. Most Starbucks visits are further upgraded with a free coffee or a sandwich. 
Starbucks' application also has a seamless digital interface with integrated features like online ordering, pay later, and customized music playlists via Spotify. Whether creating the world's best coffee or providing the best user experience, Starbucks is a master of the game.

                                                                     Source: Bootcamp

10. Headspace

Today, each of us runs a rat race for money but forgets what we lose. Headspace is a mental health and wellness app that brings back the lost charm of a positive mindset.
The app features guided meditation, games, and other recreational activities for users to unwind at the end of a hectic day. Using game-style design illustrations and graphics shocks the user's system and reminds them of what is essential to lead a happy life. People across every age group can explore headspace different ways to soothe themselves, reduce anxiety and engage with fellow enthusiasts.
Headspace rewards users for consistently attending their meditation sessions and motivates them to keep at it. The rewards are later claimed in cashback, extended membership, mindful playlists, and other perks.

                                                                          Source: UXplanet

11. Uber

The Uber app uses gamification from a business perspective. A reward system or ludic loop is activated at the driver's end, which tracks the driver's efficiency and progress throughout the day.
The Uber rewards program, launched in 2018, also includes a tier system that unlocks different rewards and incentives for drivers. For example, if a potential rider cancels on the driver deliberately, the driver wouldn't be charged any cancellation fee. Further, the cancellation fee levied on the next rider will also be transferred to the driver without cutting parts in commission. 
This strategic program of Uber is aimed at the retention of the driver base and stabilization of the employee workforce.

Uber gamification                                                                         Source: dribbble

12. LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is a talent recruitment application that leverages gamification techniques within a user's account to calculate their progress. It provides award badges, progress bars, multimedia content, articles, and so much more for increased attention. Users who purchase LinkedIn premium membership get access to a variety of features. Some of them include the following:

  • Personalized videos for interactive learning.
  • 30 Inmail credits to personally connect to a potential recruiter. 
  • Content gamification to curate personalized articles, newsletters, and advertisements.
  • Access to LinkedIn Campaign Manager to track your engagement rates.


of employees said that gamification makes them more productive at work

Source: Zippia

Gamification apps used by industries today

Keeping the fire of interest burning might sound easy, but isn't. The advent of gamification has relaxed the nerves of marketers and advertisers in terms of perpetuating interest. Brands now understand what consumers want: to be heard and prioritized among large numbers.

How did gamification break through traditional marketing barriers to gain worldwide attention? Let's understand how through some applications:

Loyalty management

Retailers, travel companies, and restaurants use gamification in loyalty management to safeguard consumers. Customer loyalty programs can take various forms, from point systems to referral programs to voucher redemptions.

Some examples of loyalty management gamification include:


  • Punch card: Each time a customer makes a purchase, they receive a punch on their card. After several purchases, they receive free or discounted service.
  • Giveaways can be hosted through official social media accounts to entice customers to participate. The winners are chosen on a random note.
  • Marketing offers target customers using credit cards from a selected list of banks or private financial platforms.
  • Vouchers are issued and invoked based on customer profile, purchase amount, and other attributes to evoke discounted offers.
  • Trust Badges differentiate your frequent visitors from seasonal visitors. Even further, you can certify them as genuine customers. 
  • Leaderboards are a fun way to drive competition amongst your subscribers, where each of them pushes through to reach the top.
  • Loyalty points or coins: Some financial platforms double reward with membership access and coins for paying off your credit card bills on time.
  • Choose-your-own-adventure plots enable the user to choose images, backgrounds, settings, and peripheral characters to create a brand story.
  • The spin-to-win wheel can be digitally integrated for your consumers to try their luck at prizes, coupons, or cash back. 

The "reward-seeking" behavior born through loyalty programs can amplify your engagement and nudge prospects toward the proper purchase. It makes customers "curious " to check whether they're liable for new rewards, membership perks, vouchers, or free deals.

Our marketing forefathers said you couldn't have a system to monitor your customer's sentiments and build permanent trust. But now you do.

2. Employee engagement

Employee engagement can be tricky, but gamifying the process can motivate employees to become more involved. Employee engagement software infuses fun into onboarding, probation, contests, and survey processes. You can provide a badge or milestone to an illustrious employee in a topper’s leaderboard. Also, employee engagement software is pre-set with creative punchlines to trigger a specific employee action.

3. Sales gamification

Sales is an inherently competitive profession, and sales gamification tools capitalize on the competitive nature of sales reps. By creating leaderboards, personalized public notifications, or badges for specific actions, employers can motivate their sales teams to improve efficiency and achieve goals.
Sales gamification software is used to create interactive training programs for employees. As your employee ramps up and achieves set sales targets, you can attach incentives or variable amounts to their salary. By doing this, you're not only appreciating the deserving employee but also setting the stage for future performers.

4. Customer Advocacy

Customer advocacy, also known as marketing advocacy or referral marketing, is used for customer referrals, account-based marketing, and putting out the native buzz of your new product lines before you advertise them.

5. Microlearning gamification

Company HRs widely use microlearning to create events, games, and interactive presentations. Employees can easily amp up their corporate training by integrating small educational modules into their daily workflows. These platforms consist of multimedia content, flashcards, and query management system, to name a few.

Why is gamification so effective?

Gamification has proven as a successful technique for visitor engagement,  relationships, and sales. The main role of gamification is to create brand tokens for your consumers or employees in a game-style way that makes them gravitate toward your service.
Good gamification marketing creates user interest in three main ways: validation, completion, and rewards. Rewards can come in waves of priority brooches, vouchers, discounts, or loyalty points. Small gestures like these make your customers happy and satisfied with your product experience, which speaks volumes about your company.

And the gaming saga continues
Humans are social creatures, and competition drives them to great heights. Fueling and validating their spirits through gamification can establish you as a trusted name in the market. Happy customers spread good words, and words aren't mere vessels. Strong word-of-mouth marketing can surpass any paid efforts.

Learn about how mixed reality revolutionizes the world of gamification by blurring the lines between the physical world and computer generated artificial world.

gamification software
Be your own protagonist

Enrich user experiences with digital narratives and promote your brand with gamification software

gamification software
Be your own protagonist

Enrich user experiences with digital narratives and promote your brand with gamification software

12 Best Examples of Gamification Across Business Spheres From your Fitbit to your Starbucks card, many examples of gamification have sprung into existence today for the benefit of customers. Learn more about it.
Lauren Fram Lauren is a former market research analyst focusing on the e-commerce and retail industries. Since joining G2 in July 2017, she has focused her energy on consumer-driven spaces after spending time in the vertical, design, and CAD software spheres. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in English language and literature and her writing and research has been cited in publications such as Forbes, Eater, and, among others. She enjoys building and sharing her knowledge, and in her free time enjoys reading, knitting, and gaming. Her coverage areas include retail technology, e-commerce, and restaurant technology.

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