Play to Win: 4 Best Practices for Gamifying in-app CX

Explore tips and examples to master the art of ‘Playing to Win’

Gillian Setiawan

MarTech Blogger | Oct 05, 2023

Welcome to the world of digital player x! 

Get ready to embark on an exciting journey where strategy, competition, and fun collide. In this dynamic business landscape, achieving customer engagement is no easy task. But, fear not, for now firms are harnessing the power of gamification to create more memorable experiences to captivate their audiences and level up. 

Join us as we dive deeper into this realm, uncovering strategies to help businesses thrive in this ever-changing environment.

1. Personalize Rewards and Experiences

To set your brand apart in this competitive world, personalization is key.

By catering to customers’ unique preferences, personalization showcases a sense of appreciation and relevance that generic approaches cannot replicate. This, in turn, motivates customers to consistently engage and interact with the brand, ultimately boosting loyalty. In fact, 76% of customers say that they are more likely to purchase from brands that personalize than those that don’t.

World-renowned coffee powerhouse Starbucks, for example, utilizes gamified elements to boost sales, engagement, and digital traffic. Customers choose the challenge they’d prefer to go on, collect stars and exchange them for their choice of food or beverage. Challenges include things like “purchasing three espresso drinks within a week,” “purchasing two refreshers within three days,” “purchasing three bakery items within five days,” and so on. As customers are allowed to pick their path, they are more likely to follow it through to completion.

2. Introduce Streaks and Leaderboards

For consistent engagement, streaks and leaderboards can be the gamechanger.

Streaks foster habit formation to encourage users to engage with your brand on a regular basis. The fear of breaking the streak and the sense of achievement associated with maintaining it serve as its main form of motivation.

Leaderboards, on the other hand, tap into customers’ natural competitive spirits to encourage daily interaction.

Checking their standings, as compared to others, encourages customers to follow through with each of the clearly set goals in the hopes of slowly climbing up the board. 

Take the popular language-learning app Duolingo, for example. Knowing that most customers quit their studies after initial excitement dies down, the brand utilized a combination of points, badges and streaks to get users to spend at least a few minutes daily learning their language of choice. To further boost motivation, they also display a live leaderboard as a fun way to encourage students to rise to the challenge.

3. Incorporate Storytelling

Storytelling provides context, purpose, and meaning to gamified activities.

Through immersive, well-crafted narratives, brands can create more memorable customer experiences that allow for consumers to connect more deeply with them. This, in turn, boosts customer motivation to regularly interact with the brand. 

Subway’s “sink a sub” battleship-style game, for example, allowed customers to sink sandwiches in a virtual ocean environment. As customers can only get a code for the game if they bought a sub and a drink, this immersive experience saw many of them purchasing more of such items just to play the game.

4. Make Progress Shareable 

When we achieve a goal, we like to flaunt it.

Ensuring that gamified elements are mobile- and social media-friendly allows brands to foster a sense of community, where customers feel like they are part of a shared gaming experience. This amplifies engagement as customers see others participating in the game as well.

Take, for example, Nike’s run club, which seamlessly integrates game elements to track customers’ running or walking distances while offering curated workout routines and suggesting interesting articles.

Beyond motivating them to achieve their fitness goals, the app also instills a sense of trust by ensuring that customers are not running alone. It does so by encouraging users to share their achievements on social media, providing a platform for them to validate their efforts.


The power of gamification lies in its ability to tap into human psychology, cultivating motivation, competition, and a sense of accomplishment. As we navigate through today’s busy digital landscape, this powerful tool will continue to redefine the way customers interact with brands. Remember, the game is on, so we have to level up to remain competitive!

Want to rise to the challenge? Perx is ready to supercharge your strategies with its powerful personalization and gamification elements. Book a demo today to continue learning about and incorporating best practices to progress your engagement gamification efforts.

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