Play vs. Gamification: Humanizing an Experience


We all like to play. You could find yourself walking down a sidewalk and counting how many lines you don’t step on. It’s a part of our nature to play so when you are adding elements of play into your business and how you interact with consumers it is ultimately about humanizing that experience. They want to feel like you relate to how they live their daily lives. Sometimes people may mistake this with gamification, but it is actually completely different in many ways. Play is an element of humanization. Gamification is that science behind it.

I think for us to extrapolate things that really matter, for example, when we’re looking at our rewards, we decided to make them completely serendipitous. We wanted people not to expect the rewards; we wanted them to be surprises and delights. That was ultimately a very play-like element so that people could feel that someone was naturally there to gift them.

That was ultimately activating a different part of the brain, not one that’s driven by money or incentives, but one that’s driven by just pure gratitude. That, I think, is the ultimate brand builder and when you tap into those core elements of play that aren’t muddled with incentives, that’s when you begin to drive the best behaviour for your consumers and for your brand.

What Did You Think?