I don’t generally admit this in public, but I am a computer gamer. Â Yes – ultimate geek, I know. But that’s okay. There are many interesting things about the game, but this week I attended our Chamber meeting and the speaker was talking about motivation. Â I started to think about things and the motivations to do things in game. Â Now normally with a game you have the motivation to “win”, to accomplish tasks, and to do things with your friends. Â When I first started playing this game, characters had the option to buy or find pets – strange little creatures that would hang out with you and really served no purpose other than be there. Â One of my friends and I loved the pets and collected as many as we could store. Â My husband did too. Come to find out, so did a lot of other people.
Now, Blizzard, the makers of the game, noticed this too. Â Many players liked the pets and collected bunches of them. Â So they put in more pets, tasks where the rewards were pets, and give you more pets if you reach certain numbers of pets. Â This upgrade came with a bunch of other stuff as well but they recognized something that happened organically and built on it. Â Now, you often see people in towns with the rare, unusual or the holiday pets. Â It is just fun. Â From Blizzard’s perspective, it also gives a person a reason to keep playing – they need to get that next pet or the next level or whatever. Â It is one more way to keep the player interested and engaged in a way he or she likes. Â We don’t have to do these things – they are in no way mandatory – but come with a prize we want.
Okay, so how does that relate to business? First and foremost, notice what your customers are doing. Â If you sell a product, how do they use the product? Â Is there anything about it you should know like does everything have a spare in the office or home or do they buy it as needed? Â If you sell a service, is there a pattern to use or can you graph it to see if there is a cycle, etc? Â Or, do some people always go with the addons or do they just stick to the basic service? Â Now, how can you capitalize on the answers? Â What can you offer that is building on those real life situations but add more value and keep the customer coming back? It is all in how you motivate people to do things.
Chris Brogan talked about a clothing brand his son wears that have tags that are stickers. And they are cool stickers too. Â For anyone with young children, a sticker is a great extra on anything, especially something as boring as clothing. Â That child will always go for the clothes that come with stickers over the ones that don’t. And if the sticker gets put on a lunchbox, backpack or other item seen by other children, it is now a marketing tool.
So what can you do? What extras can you add? Â How can you help people feel motivated to stay with your product or service? Â Frankly, adults like stickers too!