7 Gamification Examples from Well-Known Brands


Gamification is changing the marketing game. Yet you might not realize this because gamification is, at its heart, a subtle art designed to engage an audience without drawing too much attention to the intended action. Whether signing up for a subscription service, gathering email addresses, or another call to action, a gamification strategy brings lead generation and customer loyalty to many businesses.

And among the many industries that are poised to benefit the most from gamification are health and fitness, education, tourism, tech, and eCommerce. Still, it can be challenging for individuals and businesses to identify how much gamification has entered into life. To help you grasp the concept, here are seven gamification examples that best showcase the prevalence of this methodology in commerce today:

1. Noom

Noom is a diet app that promises users they won’t need other diet apps. They support this claim with a unique strategy: Tailoring a strong user experience with diet culture. Thanks, in large part, to their implementation of gamification.

Noom adds gamification into the daily lives of its users. The best example of gamification on Noom’s platform is the daily quizzes it entices users to complete. These quizzes test users on what they’ve learned about weight loss and nutrition using the app. 

This strategy’s primary motivation is to ensure Noom users retain this shared information. They’ll also achieve better information retention through another subtle gamification technique known as progressive disclosure—revealing just enough facts needed at a given moment. That way, users aren’t overwhelmed with data while using the app.

2. Duolingo

Duolingo took language eLearning by storm, dominating the industry and stealing market share from icons like Rosetta Stone. How did they do it? Through a fun and gamified approach to language instruction!

With so many elements at play in Duolingo’s structure, it can be easy to miss some of their good examples of gamification. Just a few that come to mind include:

  • Streaks: Keeping track of how many consecutive days you’ve practiced your language.
  • Constant notifications: What may be a bombardment to some encourages others.
  • Badges and accomplishments: Gaining something for completing a course or test provides the dopamine rush users crave.
  • Daily goals: Frequent goals work as stepping stones toward better learning habits.

3. The U.S. Army

Sometimes gamification is as straightforward as using a video game to help an organization with a specific need. Such is the case with the U.S. Military’s approach to recruiting. With the rise in popularity of army-based video games like Call of Duty, the military decided to create their own game: America’s Army.

The aim was to devise an experience resembling real-life combat that could give long-time patrons of other shooting games a unique challenge. Before downloading the game, users must subscribe and disclose demographic information.

America’s Army continues to be one of the most effective recruiting strategies for the U.S. Army.

4. Yousician

Everyone likes the idea of learning an instrument, but only some are willing to put in the time to learn how to play well. Yousician helps to prompt mastery via gamification.

By implementing a variety of gamification features, Yousician encourages its users to continue practicing. For example, each profile starts with a player at Level 0. Using your computer or smartphone’s microphone, Yousician can grade the performance of certain songs, rewarding the player with experience to level up.

The platform also offers real-time feedback as one plays, signaling the user when they hit a wrong note. This reflects the real-time audio and visual feedback of music-based video games like Guitar Hero.

5. Starbucks

Starbucks’ rewards program is the epitome of gamification for customer engagement. Every purchase you make earns points when you download the app and create a profile. These points can be redeemed for free drinks, treats, or many other reward items offered on the company’s website.

With the promise of points and free merchandise, Starbucks actively encourages customers to become more loyal through repeat purchases. 

6. Under Armour

The Under Armour mobile app is chock-full of beneficial gamification examples for the everyday life of aspiring athletes. Two significant ones include interactive quizzes about prominent athletes, and app-connected running shoes.

For example, a 2020 quiz featured questions about Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry. After hitting his first three-pointer in a game, the app launched its trivia game, with every player having a chance to win playoff tickets, gear, and limited-edition sneakers.

Meanwhile, some of Under Armour’s training shoes have microchips installed that sync with the app so users can better track their workout statistics. These stats can be shared and compared with friends on the app, encouraging users to challenge one another and beat their personal bests.

7. M&M’s

Gamification can be as straightforward as posting a minigame on your social media channel. M&M found success with this strategy when they posted an “Eye Spy” type game on Facebook to promote new pretzel M&M’S. The result was a viral campaign that propelled this fresh product into the public consciousness. 

This proves to be a great example of gamification as a campaign. Gamification doesn’t need to be within a well-constructed brand experience to engage with consumers. 

Implement Gamification with Experienced Partners

Now that we’ve established real-life examples of gamification in marketing, how do you implement these strategies for your marketing campaign? There are a lot of angles to try, but it’s always wiser to run your ideas by an expert in the gamification industry.

And CataBoom is the gamification expert you’re looking for! We’ve worked with brands like Best Western and Cinemark to bring customer loyalty and engagement to these organizations’ strategy.

No matter your industry, CataBoom can create a gamified marketing plan that will unlock the full potential of your campaign and customer experience. Contact us today to see what that can look like for your organization!