Over the last few months I have seen more and more people in gamification changing their messaging. Rather than speaking about gamification, they have started to speak about loyalty.
It makes sense, with gamification you are trying to guide people and engage them with your products, services or whatever – it does seem to follow that you would be aiming for their loyalty as well. However, I see an issue here and it may just be a definition thing, but it still got me thinking.
I have spoken about loyalty a few times and it always comes across to me that it can be looked at as:
“Making decisions with your heart rather than your head”
Let me explain this first, then move to my point.
Truly loyal customers will choose your product over other despite value or convenience. Take Apple. They have been selling phones to people that are of lower specifications than other brands and at far higher costs. Logically, this makes no sense. However, when you buy an Apple product you are buying with your heart. You want to be part of the community that owns them, you want to own the pretty shiny thing. The fact that in almost every way it is inferior to anything comparable on the market makes no difference. I know all of this and still have one – and will have the iPhone 6 when it comes out. I am loyal to iPhone (if not Apple).
There are a few other things at play. I am loyal to the ecosystem and the simplicity – but this is now more about being bought into the ecosystem and the perceived cost and time of moving to a better Android phone is too much to deal with!
Here comes the point. YOU ARE NOT APPLE.
You can’t sell an inferior product at twice the price and have people thank you for it.
You can’t even sell a better product at the same price and guarantee return sales.
With this in mind, how about we forget loyal customers and think about customers who like you instead. This is a much easier and less expensive goal to aim for initially.
Getting people to like you
- Be honest
- Speak to your customers like they are at least your equals
- Don’t try to trick them into buying your products
- Use things like gamification in interesting ways, not just as a boring “Loyalty” scheme (Hint, bribing people to come back is NOT the same as loyalty!)
- Give good value, without cutting your own throats
- Stop trying to be Apple (or Google or any other huge brand that has millions to spend on this kind of thing)
- Be your self and be true to your vision.
If you can do all of this, you will at the very least not generate dislike. You might get people to like you and your product and eventually this may lead to true loyalty!