Intercepting customers’ needs and desires: the dynamics of corporates Gamification

More than 2.5 billion videogame players worldwide
(The European Mobile Game Market, 2016)

People love playing and joining contests, above all when it is possible get discounts or awards. Why? What are desires and needs that people want to satisfy when they play? What are the leverages for pressure customers or employees to do certain actions?

Let’s start from a successful case, as  Moosejaw , a US outdoor clothes retailer, to deepen Gamification dynamics that are one of the main components of gamified projects (read  this article for more).

Thanks to tis two elements, peculiar to game and game-thinking, gamification can offer ground-breaking solutions to engage people, motivate their actions and favour behaviour changing.


Moosejaw the US on and off-line seller, and famous for its unusual marketing strong presence on social media, was looking for a unique way to lead sales in an extremely competitive market.

To do this Moosejaw modified the traditional retail model – in which an object is sold with a fixed price – replacing it with “real-time prices” mechanism, to increase the demand.

As time went by, the price growths creating a related sense of urgency, that leads customers to act, and so to buy.

Moosejaw projected a promotion campaign, by using a “step-price” platform. To build the demand Moosejaw offer $10 gift-cards from $1.
It also established that the gift-card price raised fast from $1 to $5, following first purchases. To emphasise the message, the company send teaser messages with a preview of the upcoming affair.

What customers already know was only that, more fast they reacted to the ads, better would be the awarded price: the strategy was based on mysteryintriguesuspense and above all principle of scarcity, one of the more powerful three motivational forces, deepen in this article.

The platform included a function called “Team Building” that allows participants to invite their friends. More friends a player invites, more are the chances to close a good deal. Every member of the team could block the gift-card price, for a limited period of time, by letting other members to buy the coupon with that price.

So no wonder that the results of this campaign were excellent, as the following infographic shows.


When it comes to dynamics, it is referred to conceptual and abstracts elements of a gamification process, to desires and needs to satisfy, that in each design stage of a gamified project, should be considered as the main element on which build the whole structure.

It is normal that the dynamics that make the gamification efficient, reporting to a strong motivational component, that search the involvement and the participation of people.

Yu-Kai-Chou the Gamification pioneer, analysed the basic causes that push users to do certain actions (in game context). This base impulse, or pushes to act, are called “Core Drive” breathing life into an octagonal system called Octalysis.

In author opinion, everything we do is based on one or more of this base-impulses that show, briefly, the subtract of our behaviours.


It goes without saying, as Moosejaw case study demonstrated, that the deep knowledge of dynamics and their functioning, turns into strategic know-why for each corporate that aim to boost their business in a ultra-competitive market, such as the present one.

Along the scarcity feeling (Scarcity & Impatience) that lead people to take action quickly, moved by a fear of “lose” something or “not arriving in time”, let’s see now the other Core Drives:

Epic Meaning & Calling: it is the push from the belief of doing something bigger than us and contributes to the public asset. Increases the belief of being chosen to do a mission.

Development & Accomplishment: it is the pression that encourages people to continuous improvement, the inner instinct that pushes to set goals. It concerns the personal development: facing golas more and more ambitious and aspiring to overcome challenges.

Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: it is the specific desire of engage in creativity act, of 
express creativity, and at the same time, to notice the results of works created through the other-judgments. 

Ownership and possession: it is the very powerful basic desire that motivates players to buy something to become their property, or to take care of it to continue to own it (virtual characters, objects or coins).
This push to own more and more, and at the same time, improve what you already have.

Social influence & Relatedness: very topical, due to the growing use of social media; this is the pressure of social relations – in their more heterogeneous form – exert on our actions. This is the Core Drive that embed all the different sociality components like: acceptance, reciprocity, support, companionship, friendship, envy.

Unpredictability & Curiosity: is the Core Drive that found their push in the curiosity to discover what will happen in the future. When some element doesn’t match with the regular already-known pattern (allows the predictability, a general activation of our central system take place, followed by a general increase of attention.

Loss & Avoidance: it is an important reason of our actions, representing by the attempt to avoid negative events. In this sense, for dome aspects, comes in when you are dominated by fear.

These are the main dynamics on which gamification is based, and represent the keys along with mechanics, for the creation of functional and effective gamified experiences, that allows corporates to reach their business goals.

Playoff’s dashboard allows you to set all the components of a game; from leaderboards and badges to points and levels, gamified systems encourage user engagement and collaboration.

Do you want to apply Gamification to your business?

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