How NFT Developers Can Use Gamification

Cory Hymel
|
March 16, 2022
The non-fungible token continues to grow in popularity, attracting a near exponential increase in sales. NFTs are also beginning to make an impact in other forms of media, including art, music, and video games. That latter arena remains worthy of interest for companies looking to mint their own tokens; all because of one concept: gamification.

As the gaming industry increasingly adopts NFTs, they typically include them in tandem with in-game digital assets, including artwork, powerups, special characters, or even virtual real estate. A spirited debate has emerged in the industry regarding the incorporation of NFTs and other crypto elements into games, but it’s also important to note this strategy isn’t limited to video gaming. Companies in other industry sectors already use elements of gamification in their products or services. Using NFTs to power this approach seems like a natural next step.

So let’s analyze how businesses interested in embracing NFTs need to also look at adding gamification to foster engagement. In the end, this approach provides the means to gamify many aspects of their marketing efforts, including websites, online social communities, product announcements, and more. Here is a look at a few use-cases for leveraging NFTs and gamification for businesses outside of the gaming industry.

A Closer Look at Pairing NFTs and Gamification

In an NFT-enabled video game, various digital assets include an NFT, as noted above. They might be a user character or some other gaming element, like a powerup or an extra level. Over the last few years, these kinds of games grew in popularity largely in concert with the expansion of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Gamers are able to trade these NFTs both within the game and out in the real world. So it’s even possible to earn actual money from these transactions. Obviously, this is one of the reasons for the rapid growth in popularity of P2E (play-to-earn) gaming.

Developers implement NFTs in gaming (or in other gamification use-cases highlighted below) by using bits of code called smart contracts. These get executed whenever a transaction happens on a blockchain. The trigger runs when an NFT is first created as well as traded.

Still, while gamers see P2E games as a chance to earn some money while essentially enjoying a hobby, businesses considering gamification in non-gaming scenarios worry more about attracting new customers and keeping them engaged. This strategic approach even happens today, especially with the customer loyalty programs seen in grocery stores and fast food restaurants. So let’s analyze a few use-cases describing how NFTs fit into this equation.

Marketing Gamification Using NFTs Gives Businesses a New Advertising Frontier

The combination of gamification and NFTs provides businesses with a unique, state of the art opportunity to engage their current customers while also attracting new ones. In fact, it takes the loyalty programs described earlier into overdrive. Here are a few use cases to serve as inspiration for your own company’s first forays into a new arena of customer engagement.

A Retailer Supercharges its Current Loyalty Program

As noted earlier, many retailers offer loyalty programs that largely serve as a means to download and use e-Coupons. However, adding NFT-based gamification to this equation offers a potential to take this strategy to a higher level.

What if customers earned an NFT-based coupon for a free item for reaching a certain sales milestone in one month? Deals like these serve to engage customers, incenting them to spend more on groceries and to pay close attention to new sales and other store advertisements.

A Fast Food Restaurant Introduces a New Item – With an NFT

Fast food restaurants regularly introduce new items to the public. In some cases, even product reintroductions garner a lot of buzz in the zeitgeist, like the McRib “sandwich” or Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries. Last year, Taco Bell released a series of “NFTacoBells” to promote the return of potatoes to their menu.

Gamification in the fast food industry is nothing new, with the McDonald’s Monopoly game the most successful example. With blockchain gaming, these proven gamification strategies can be expanded where earning an NFT as a reward engages users and helps to drive sales. When introducing a new item, include a small number NFTs with extra value, like free Nacho Fries for a year. Making these NFTs transferable on the open market also potentially boosts their worth.

NFT-powered Treasure Hunt

The treasure hunt model makes a great fit as an NFT-based game. A brand can hide a variety of prizes and perks within NFTs. These tokens become unlocked when a user visits a certain local entity that partners with the brand. Considering the popularity of geocaching, many users are likely to be attracted to a similar concept like an NFT treasure hunt. It also provides a sense of familiarity serving to draw in customers who might still be uncertain about NFTs in general.

The brand boosts both its advertising revenue as well as user engagement. Local businesses benefit from increased business while also getting introduced to the NFT concept. Developers hoping to craft their own NFT-based products need to consider the wide-ranging possibilities for new business generated by a similar use-case.

Fitness Gamification with NFT Rewards

In 2012, Nike released the Nike+ FuelBand – a wearable device that tracked activity and integrated with the Nike+ community to support fitness challenges and games. While the FuelBand device ultimately didn’t offer enough to beat competitors like the FitBit and Apple Watch, the community and gamification features proved a highly engaging strategy. Combining this gamification with NFTs and tokens would allow those participating who reach a certain milestone to win an NFT that provides extra perks or discounts.

A marketing strategy like this works on multiple levels. Most importantly, users are encouraged to exercise more, improving their health. At the same time, the brand improves engagement with their current users, while also potentially attracting new customers to the fold. With Nike entering the NFT market, this could be an ideal way to support future gamification initiatives.

Hopefully, these use-case examples provide a source of inspiration for your company’s own foray into the emerging world of NFTs and gamification. Who said this type of fun only existed in actual video games?

If your organization needs help turning a great NFT concept into reality, connect with the experienced team at Gigster. As a software development services provider with significant experience with NFTs, we boast the tech skills and business acumen to make your idea a successful one. Contact us soon to discuss working together to change the world.

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