How 2 of the Biggest Companies Utilise Gamification to Succeed

Gamification is one of the most powerful strategies to drive user behavior.

No wonder businesses are starting to implement game mechanics to motivate employees, encourage customer loyalty and give their customers a sense of victory.

If you can get your customers to engage with your product, to have fun, and feel good about themselves, you are on the road to success.

Gamification has proved to be incredibly effective at engaging and motivating people to change their behaviors.

M2 research predicts Gamification will be worth $2.8 billion by next year. Perhaps it’s time to use Gamification to transform your business operations.

Here are 2 businesses who have scored BIG using Gamification:

1. Foursquare:

Foursquare launched in 2009 and now has 50,000,000 people using the service. How did they do this!?

Yep you guessed it. Gamification!

Foursquare grew so fast due to game mechanics – particularly check-ins and location sharing.

When they first built the application they wanted to embed game mechanics to help users learn how to use the application and to help make their real-world experiences more fun!

Here is a profile of “Dens” in New York.

photo credit to


Dens earned points depending on how exciting her outings were, she also earned 117 badges for checking in online, you can see she is a “superuser” and has checked in 4,740 times!

There was also an option for users to feel motivated to be crowned “mayor” of a certain venue. This means checking into a venue more than anyone else in the past 60 days. Users were able to compete against friends and feel a sense of accomplishment when winning!

Today Foursquare have changed the application’s primary purpose of check-ins to finding good places located around the user. They no longer use these gamification strategies, but Gamification is still how they got so big.

2.  eBay


eBay are HUGE Gamification advocates.

They have Gamification built into their core DNA and have used it heavily to drive business. The two prominent game mechanics they implement are auction and status.

eBay implemented one of the first point systems that enables users to show their status on the site. The competitive bidding system, buyer-seller feedback, and power of seller statuses has turned eBay into a completely gamified platform.


Do you recognize this yellow star achievement award? This is just one specific example of how eBay uses gamification to show appreciation to its users while building an online community.

In recognition of achieving a feedback score of 10 you receive this award. It makes you feel good about yourself and it makes you want to continue.

The best thing about the eBay platform is that it is fun for both sellers and buyers.

eBay uses what Yu-Kai Chou would refer to as “Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment” to make the experience more addictive for the seller. All Sellers have a rating. The more positive feedback they receive will determine the trust of that seller and therefore either encourage or discourage sales.

Now for the buyer. When you are online, food shopping on Trader Joe’s do you feel like you have won?! I didn’t think so.

When you are on eBay bidding for items, the buying process is a hell of a lot more interesting. When you pay you feel a sense of achievement. You feel like you have won and that you have beaten the other bidders – even if you paid extra!

Is your business centered around selling an online product? If yes, why not implement a bidding system on your site. Perhaps start off with putting one product up for auction and see the engagement that takes place on your site. This could be the answer for you.

Gamification makes learning fun. It encourages active participation and engagement and allows for direct, immediate feedback.

If you are you looking to implement game mechanics into your business, perhaps it’s not such a bad idea!

Follow in the footsteps of  eBay and Foursquare. They seem to be doing something right!

If these guys have scored big with gamification, we all can.