Loyalty 3.0: How to Revolutionize Customer and Employee Engagement with Big Data and Gamification is a fantastic read, probably my favorite of 2013.  The book was published in late May and written by Rajat Paharia, founder of Bunchball.  It builds on the gamification theme with genuinely implementable ideas.  Loyalty 3.0 is the combination of Motivation (behavioral science), Big data, and Gamification.  It stresses intrinsic motivation over external motivation, although there are definitely appropriate uses for both.  Loyalty 3.0 discusses game mechanics (Fast Feedback, Transparency, Goals, Badges, Leveling Up, Onboarding, Competition, Collaboration, Community, and Points) using real world examples and provides a roadmap for implementing a Loyalty 3.0 game plan (Plan, Design, Build, Optimize), weaving in case studies throughout.  This book is a must read for all marketers, especially anyone interested in gamification.

A few highlights from Loyalty 3.0 are listed below:

  • Loyalty 3.0 has three major components that, when combined, are much greater than the sum of the parts: Motivation + Big Data + Gamification
  • Knowing what truly motivates people – and what doesn’t – enables us to create stronger engagement and true loyalty.
  • People often wonder why others dedicate their time and efforts such as contributing to open-source projects and writing and editing on Wikipedia for no financial gain…. Because there is a strong sense of purpose, of making a dent in the universe.
  • Gamification is not about creating games at all.  With gamification, your core experience is the centerpiece, and the gamification mechanics go around it.
  • It takes talking to fewer users than you think to find most of your problems.  “Once you talk to one user, you’re already getting valuable insights.  By the second user you’re hearing some of the same things you’ve heard before.  Beyond the second user, you increasingly hear the same things from each subsequent user so that by the time you reach the sixth user, you’re learning very little that’s new”.
  • Think with Arcs – people need beginnings and endings.
  • Put Levels and Goals on a Curve – Consider making the first few levels achievable in a fast, easy progression to get user engaged and create a sense of accomplishment and progress.  The goals and levels should then get increasingly more difficult.