Key Takeaways from the 2011 Gamification Summit

Gamification SummitThe Gamification Summit in New York last week brought together leading brands that are using games, badges and other rewards to turn fans into loyal customers, and the solution partners, like Janrain, that provide the tools and software they need to achieve their goals. Each session was packed with high-value insights from companies like MTV, Rosetta Stone, Mozilla and Badgeville, but I want to share with you one of the most important takeaways.

You don’t earn airline miles until you’ve completed your trip, or rewards points until you’ve used your credit card for valid purchases, right? Traditional loyalty and rewards programs don’t engage with the customer until after they transact with the business or brand.

Today,  there are multiple ways to engage with brand loyalists before they transact with the brand — they may have shared products they like with their social graph signaling some level of purchase intent, posed a question or comment, or visited a site to read reviews. All of these actions can be leveraged to engage the user with the brand and to reward them. This is something a traditional loyalty program could not have done.

With today’s game solutions, you define the user behaviors you desire and reward them with points, badges or trophies, ultimately moving your fans up the engagement ladder.