Game-Based Marketing: Inspire Customer Loyalty Through Rewards, Challenges, and Contests

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John Wiley & Sons, Mar 9, 2010 - Business & Economics - 240 pages
Harness the power of games to create extraordinary customer engagement with Game-Based Marketing.

Gamification is revolutionizing the web and mobile apps.

Innovative startups like Foursquare and Swoopo, growth companies like Gilt and Groupon and established brands like United Airlines and Nike all agree: the most powerful way to create and engage a vibrant community is with game mechanics. By leveraging points, levels, badges, challenges, rewards and leaderboards – these innovators are dramatically lowering their customer acquisition costs, increasing engagement and building sustainable, viral communities.

Game-Based Marketing unlocks the design secrets of mega-successful games like Zynga’s Farmville, World of Warcraft, Bejeweled and Project Runway to give you the power to create winning game-like experiences on your site/apps. Avoid obvious pitfalls and learn from the masters with key insights, such as:

  • Why good leaderboards shouldn’t feature the Top 10 players.
  • Most games are played as an excuse to socialize, not to achieve.
  • Status is worth 10x more than cash to most consumers.
  • Badges are not enough: but they are important.
  • You don’t need to offer real-world prizing to run a blockbuster sweepstakes.

And learn even more:

  • How to architect a point system that works
  • Designing the funware loop: the basics of points, badges, levels, leaderboards and challenges
  • Maximizing the value and impact of badges
  • Future-proofing your design
  • Challenging users without distraction

Based on the groundbreaking work of game expert and successful entrepreneur Gabe Zichermann, Game-Based Marketing brings together the game mechanics expertise of a decade’s worth of research. Driven equally by big companies, startups, 40-year-old men and tween girls, the world is becoming increasingly more fun.

Are you ready to play?



Stickiness Is Loyalty
Playing with Loyalty
The Future of LoyaltyFrequent Flyer Games
Putting Fun into Everything
Chase Goes Dutch
The Value of Prizes
Game Mechanics
Frequent Flyer Programs Take Off
Designing the Frequent Flyer Massively Multiplayer Online Game
The Power of Points
Getting There without Points
Do They Matter?
The Solution Is Virtual Goods
But Does Redemption Matter?
Levels and Badges in FFPs

Dont Hate the Player Hate the Game
The Incidental Games We Play
Status and Levels
Black Cards and Red Carpets
Keeping Score
Demonstrable Status
The Components of Funware
Social Network Clutter
Marketing with Social Networks
Facebook Friend Games
No News Isnt Good News
Leaderboards in Business
Correctly Using Leaderboards
Masking and Directing Behaviors
WalMart and the Theory of Relativism
Leaderboard Levels
The Top 10
Making Points the Point
Point Mechanics and Branding
Virtual Currency
RealWorld Value versus Virtual Value
Creating an Easy and Effective Virtual Economy
Badging Players
Newbie Badges
Building Levels
Americas Army
Defining and Meeting Goals
Bringing Players into the Game
Tracking Behavior
The Power of Games to Change the World
Choosing Prizes
Games of Chance
Games of Chance and the Law
A Case Study
The Value of a Prize
LongTerm Motivation and Customer Loyalty
Gaming the System
Community Policing at Its Finest
Using Sweepstakes to Fight Gaming
Throwing Your Weight Around
Benefits of Status
The Level Error of FFPs
The Boss Level
Challenges and Contests
Uniteds Team Challenge
Making It Work for You
Bartles Player Types
The Most Important Motivation?
Closing the Gender Gap
Early Adopter Advantage
Fahrvergnügens Failure
The WrapUp
A Generation Gap
What Makes Generation G Special?
The Trends
Smith Tinker
The Gulf Is Real
Tetris Team Building and Tug of War
The Character of a Generation of Gamers
Successfully Marketing to Generation G
Front Line and Top of Mind
Bitten by the Achievement Bug
Generating Loyalty
Trust and Motivational Funware
Pep Boys
Making the Corporate Personal through Games
Wells Fargos Stagecoach Island
Playing Together
Product Power
Advergames and InGame Advertising
The Business of Lifestyles
Arming Your Business
First Steps Are the Hardest
Funware on the Rise

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About the author (2010)

GABE ZICHERMANN is the father of Funware theory and CEO of beamME the world's most popular mobile networking platform for professionals. He is a twelve-year game-industry veteran, having worked for CMP Media as the director of marketing for the Game Developers Conference, Gamasutra, and Game Developer magazine, as well as helping to launch and guide Trymedia Systems from start to sale as the first successful online game DRM and distribution company. A resident of New York City, Gabe blogs about games and society at

JOSELIN LINDER is a pop culture writer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

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