Why Marketing and Branding need to start with Human Motivation 2/2

In the previous blog post (if you have not read it, check it out here) we talked about how to leverage the 8 Core Drives of human motivation to design effective push marketing campaigns

What about pull marketing  campaigns? These aim to get customers to seek out your brand’s product, giving them a reason to come to you. Pull strategies work best for highly visible brands, and it is crucial to design experience that leaves a lasting impression on your audience. A great example comes from Korea, with eMart ‘Sunny Sale’ campaign. 

Case study 1: eMart’s ‘Sunny Sale’ campaign

eMart wanted to attract more customers during its lunch hour down-time. To do this, they used the mid-day sun to create a QR code with shadows, which is then scanned by people who see it on the street. The code can only be seen during lunch hour, since the pattern of the shadows changes after that time. This a game technique part of our Octalysis toolbox  (called Appointment Dynamic) which falls into Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience. The result? a 25 percent increase in its lunch sales as a result of the promotion, not to mention lots of media coverage too. 


‘Sunny Sale’ campaign, by eMart 


Case study 2: Apple’s “There’s More in the Making” Event

Another company which owes much of its success of motivation-based marketing and gamification? Apple. Apple has used motivational messages from practically the beginning with its “Think Different” video campaign (1997), highly focused on Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling (when you feel you are part of something bigger than yourself. Something..well, EPIC!). People have never been so encouraged to be different before! Since then, Apple has mastered the art and science of influencing people with motivation-based marketing. As you probably know, Apple organises a number of events each year where they unveil new hardware and software. For each event they usually send a simple invite out with the event details. However, for the October 30th event (2018) they wanted to do something more, to create anticipation and trigger online social sharing. They sent an invite that at first glance looked like a regular event. But once people started to share their invites online, they soon realised that each invite looked a little different: Apple has magically turned the PR campaign into an online  hunt to find all the 370 logos! 


Apple event, October 2018


Does this remind you of something? Yes, Pokemon Go! This is a great example of using Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity (how many logos are there in total?) and Core Drive 4: Ownership &  Possession (collect them all!). 


Online Hunt for Apple logos


Optimizing marketing with motivation is also really crucial in engaging customers’ in product development and innovation. Let’s look at the last example. 

Case study 3: Lay’s Do Us a Flavor

Lay’s potato chips crowd-sources new flavours in an annual contest How does it work? Contestants submit flavour ideas on the Do Us a Flavor website. A judging panel of experts narrows it down to three winning flavours, which are then launched in grocery stores, where fans can purchase and then vote on their favourites via Twitter, Facebook, or text message.  The winner gets one million dollars or 1% of flavour’s net sales in that year – whichever is greater. The two runner-ups win $50,000 each. The cash prize is a major incentive (Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession) for participants to enter the contest. But there is also another important drivers of participation.: For consumers, the idea that they can be a recipe developer through a simple, fun, and creative process, is empowering (Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback). The results are outstanding: the company gains insights into consumer preferences and behaviours firsthand and at scale and it reaches out to millennials. Millennials engage on social media by using hashtags to vote for winning flavours; brand awareness has increased due to the significant media buzz, events, and celebrity partnerships surrounding the contest.


Lay’s Do as a Flavour 2015


One of the reasons why the best brands are heavily investing in motivation-based marketing is that the behaviour and expectations of Gen Y and Z, are different. They are tech savvy, highly social, as well as looking for brands with a social purpose. This is where Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling – oftentimes through storytelling – can create long-lasting relationships with your customers. Gamification can help bring the story of your company and its values alive, for example by turning Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies into more interactive and authentic experiences. A trick to find your company’s epic meaning? Keep asking why. And learn more about Core Drive 1 in the Octalysis Framework. 

You know agree with me gamification has diverse applications in marketing and works across all channels (your landing page, social media, your events etc.). What makes it so powerful is less the technology involved, and more human motivation. Virtually all the world’s most innovative and successful companies (such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Nike and Starbucks) have realized that marketing needs motivation, and they can learn a lot from games. This is even more true as companies are rolling out new digital strategies where pull strategies become more and important and need to leverage social networking, blogging, word of mouth and brand ambassadors (check below to see how we helped Volkswagen Group revolutionize their loyalty program, for example). 


Boneo Loyalty Program, Porsche Austria (The Octalysis Group)

Key takeaways: (if you jumped directly to this section, you have missed a lot!)

  • Gamification isn’t just a marketing buzzword. It’s a way to trigger real, powerful human emotions that can trigger better customer experiences, increased engagement, and brand loyalty;
  • Gamification is not simply about slapping points and badges (and other game mechanics) into your marketing campaigns. A motivation-based marketing and branding strategy starts with the 8 drivers of human motivation, and not the simplest game mechanics (notably points, badges and leaderboards); 
  • You should not do Gamification because it’s fun (it is not about making games!). Approach it strategically, starting with your business metrics and your customers’ motivation; 
  • Customer engagement is the most valuable asset in today’s marketing. All the most forward-looking brands are heavily investing into gamification and motivation-based marketing. This trend is driven by several factors, such as increased competition for customer’s attention in a world overloaded with information; the increasing digitalizsation; and the need to engage Gen Y and Gen Z; 
  • The experience does not need to look like a game. The type of experience depends on who your customers are and the context. Apple’s marketing campaigns are not game-like experiences, but they are still highly motivational because they appeal to the right Core Drives. 


How YOU can use the Octalysis framework for Motivation-based Marketing


  1. Experience Audit: analyse the current customer experience and brand from a motivational perspective, and gain insights on why your customers are not behaving as expected;
  2. Ideate new Marketing Strategy (both push and pull): Ideate messages, ads, marketing campaigns, landing pages, commercials, and events that catch people’s attention and create a memorable and unique experience. Don’t just let your customers look at your content or products, but let them experience them by strategically using both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards; 
  3. BONUS TIP: Design the Entire Customer Journey: connect your marketing efforts with good product design by looking at the 4 phases of gamification. Read below’ Andris Merkulovs’s ‘experience in using the Octalysis framework to achieve a 25% increase in LTV; +78% ROI; 10.6% monetization conversion.


“We used the Octalysis framework at Monetizr to increase customer lifetime value by up to 25%. We enhance the emotional experience for gamers using the core principles of Octalysis. And our customer Blackbox an Apple Design award-winning game is a great example. We reward players for creative play, wins, and commitment with game-related merchandise.”

-Andris Merkulovs, Founder at Monetizr.io


So, instead of thinking about the old boring promotion, think about this: what would a motivation-based marketing and branding strategy look like? In other words, what does it take to keep your customers on their toes?  


Like to find out how we could help you tackle your marketing engagement challenges? Get in touch with the world’s leading Gamification and Behavioral Science professionals for a FREE consultation: massimo@octalysisgroup.com


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