Mario Kart, Zelda & Madden Can Boost Your Customer Loyalty Program!

You must be wondering, what is wrong with us after reading the title. How do video games even relate with my business, let alone my customer loyalty program?

Well before you stop reading, let me explain what I mean. So I kind of mislead you with my title, it’s not really the video games that relate with your customer loyalty program, but it’s the mechanics within the game. It’s the process of earning of points & badges, completing quests and viewing customer status on a leaderboard that can help boost customer engagement in your loyalty program.

Now let’s take a look back at our favorite childhood video games. For example in Zelda, we can remember being rewarded for completing different quests and activities. The rewards typically were either money or tools needed to complete future quests or move further along in the game. And that’s why we stayed so engaged with these video games. We constantly seeked to be challenged, so we could be rewarded with gifts. Without the additional challenges and rewards, then what was the point of playing?

Gamification Target Audience = Millennials

In 2015, Millennials became not only the largest generation in the US, but also the largest generation in the American workforce. Millennials are the first generation to grow up in the digital era and such, they are different from every generation that has come before them. Millennials want a different buying experience.


Now to prove why gamification can work for your customer loyalty program, a study was conducted in 2015 on the effects of customers participation using a gamified program by Juho Hamari. Hamari used Sharetribe, a peer-to-peer trading service, and their subscribers as the guinea pigs to this study. He compared the level of participation for subscribers that had a gamified experience to those that didn’t have a gamified experience. The study concluded that subscribers with a gamified experience had higher levels of participation. But what is most interesting is his reasoning behind why participation increases. A couple of reasons I want to highlight are:

  1. Completing Goals Leads to Satisfaction
  2. Completing Goals Trigger Social Proof


It is human nature for us to feel satisfied when we complete a goal, however small or large the goal. And when we complete this goal, we want to be acknowledged amongst our peers. What we can take away is the more satisfaction we feel by completing a goal, the more likely we are to complete this action or similar action again, especially if we will be acknowledged.

Now here’s how you can apply these two reasons when gamifying your loyalty program. First off, encourage your loyalty customers to complete quests that will not only interest them, but also satisfy them too. Usually satisfaction includes a gift or discount. That means you need to understand your customers and their habits to create quests that will interest them to participate.

And secondly, build out leaderboards to show where members stand in the program. Leaderboards build competition, causing an increase in participation, and your top performers are acknowledged for high level of participation.

For a couple of gamification ideas, please see the examples listed below. And if you are interested in gamifying your customer loyalty platform, please contact us at or 1-800-277-2342.

Restaurant Gamification Example:

You are managing a loyalty program for your Italian restaurant and you want to create a promotion on your line-up of pasta entrees for the next month.

Quest: The first 20 people to order 10 different pasta entrees for the next month will receive a “Pasta Lover’s” badge.

Reward: In addition the “Pasta Lover’s” badger, the first 20 people will receive 10% off all pasta entree orders for the next year.

Additionally, during the month-long promotion, create a leaderboard to show where loyalty customers stand. The leaderboard will help show customers where they currently stand and increase competition.

Hotel Gamification Example:

You are managing a loyalty program for your hotel and you want to increase number of stays per guest.

Quest: If you say stay at our hotel 5 times, you will earn a Bronze Level Membership badge.  

Reward: Going forward, every 6th night of stay will be free and you will earn an additional 5 bonus points per night.

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