Well Played Samsung, very well played!! Gamifying a corporate website takes lots of courage and vision especially when no one has tried it ever before. Samsung US has gone ahead and tightly integrated Gamification in its corporate website.
Samsung Nation is the gamification engine aimed at building a community and increase engagement on its website. The simple principles of activity based reward mechanics are at play where users get badges to complete certain actions on the website and certain badges then result in real rewards for users
We have a lot of coverage of gamification and one can argue whether gamification is a smart business strategy but from the looks of what Samsung is trying to pull here, gamification looks like a winning proposition. Samsung might be the first corporate to have taken to gamification in a big way by implementing it on its website itself but we have seen enterprises toying with gamification earlier as well.
Chances are that if you have ever played the Farmville’s or the cityville’s or you are an active user on Foursquare you have seen gamification at play. The gamification framework promises a variety of benefits depending on the type of application but one aspect comes out for sure whenever we talk of gamification – increased user engagement.
Be it the forcing users to perform actions via time-bound actions (e.g. crop to be harvested in 4 hours as in Farmville) or be it the community building (e.g. sending virtual nothings to friends in order to unlock special items) all platforms / application leveraging gamification lead to increased user activity.
There is no better place for users to engage than on company website itself!
Samsung is striving to make its website the go-to place for Samsung and non-Samsung users by rewarding one and all for spending time on the website and performing actions. Be it really simple ones like ‘spending 15/30 seconds on the website’ to ‘watching a video on the website’ to ‘contributing to the Q&A’ section, Samsung is using gamification to entice everyone to engage with its corporate website like never before.
Some of the noted industry analysts have voiced their concerns on enterprises investing too much resources on building communities on Facebook and directly / indirectly sending users to their Facebook page instead of bringing them to their own website.
Come to think of it, it does make some sense because despite Facebook’s reach and the viral quotient, the end goal has to be increase activity on the website and not Facebook. Then, there is the fact that Facebook is not a platform you control unlike your website.
It might be still early days when it comes to enterprise flirting with gamification but boy it does seem exciting and something that has the potential to make their corporate websites super effective. For e.g. Consider a non-Samsung user ‘watching a video’ on the company website (thereby unlocking a badge) and actually discovering that the product demo in the video wins him / her over thereby converting into a purchase!
What are your thoughts on Samsung’s gamification of its corporate website? Do you think its a winning strategy and more enterprise will adopt game mechanics in the future?