Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on March 24th, 2020

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What Is Gamification In Packaging? Examples, Applications And Uses

Packaging Materials | The Business of Packaging | Packaging Psychology

Have you ever considered that the packaging of your product could create an emotional relationship with your customers? What about helping your customers have fun? Gamification pulls customers into interactive experiences with a product's packaging that often results in a more engaged relationship with a brand and it's products.


But what exactly is gamification? How does it work? What applications does gamification have in the realm of packaging?


In this article we will take a look at some examples of gamification, provide a solid definition of the practice and offer enlightenment on the use of gamification in modern packaging.


What Is Gamification?


Gamification implements the addition of game-design dynamics and other elements of game-play into non-game related experiences, educational practices, product packaging and etc. Gamification is essentially the practice of turning a process that is not a game into a game. Gamification uses the psychology and related elements of game design (video, board games, cards, etc.) to enhance the experience of the end-user. 


For example, gamification is used to introduce "play" in training employees for their jobs. Generally speaking, studies have shown that gamified processes produce positive results in people and their interaction with the gamified element.


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Gamification In Packaging


When it comes to gamified packaging, the sky is the limit. Gamification in packaging can be used to create deeper connections and engagement with the consumer, provide educational experiences, manifest a sense of fun and keep consumers focused on your product. And while there are many interesting examples of new gamified packaging designs, gamification has actually been around in the realm of packaging for a while.


Case in point: McDonald's Monopoly game. If you have ever been to this particular fast-food chain, chances are you have come across their sandwich and drink containers during their "monopoly season". The aforementioned containers have small tabs that invite you to peel off said tabs for a chance to win free food, money and other, sometimes, grand prizes.


But this is just a simple example of gamification in packaging. Modern advancements in technology have resulted in augmented reality applications being used to gamify products with digital experiences that can educate and entertain. For example, 19 Crimes Wine Bottles are an excellent demonstration of augmented reality and gamification in packaging. And while modern applications of gamification often lean on digital technologies, there are various examples of "analog" gamified packaging such as this whimsical and playful approach to packaging for the classic video game Pacman.


There is a ton of great examples of gamified packaging out there and chances are, as we move into 2020 we will be seeing some truly spectacular and very creative manifestations of gamification in packaging supplies. With the rise of augmented reality and interactive packaging supplies expanding into various niche markets, it is fair to say that the future of gamification in packaging will be bright for both brands and consumers. The global gamification market was valued at USD 5.5 billion in 2018, and it is estimated to witness a CAGR of 30.31% over the forecast period (2019-2024).


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Why Use Gamification In Packaging?


As an iteration of interactive packaging, gamified packaging has something to offer the consumer that other forms of packaging do not. Using gamified packaging provides a leg up on competing companies with standard packaging. And the numbers don't lie, gamification results in increased sales. The global gamification market was valued at $6.8 billion in 2018 and that number is expected to hit $40 billion by 2024.


The reason that gamification works is that it draws people in via the allure of fun. Gamification produces an effect on the consumer that often results in brand loyalty, word of mouth advertising, viral social sharing and a host of other sales-boosting dynamics.


In stark contrast to gamified packaging, standard packaging is very company-centric. It promotes the product being sold and focuses on the company exclusively while gamified packaging is focused on the consumer and adds value to creating a better experience.


Creating a memorable and enjoyable consumer experience with something as often overlooked as the packaging of your product creates a unique relationship with your consumers. This effectively pulls them into a deeper relationship with your brand, your products and the packaging of the product itself!


Gamification In Packaging: 2020 And Beyond


As we head deeper in 2020, gamified packaging is going to become more prevalent. Whether that means traditional analog applications such as the pull tabs on McDonald's fry containers or physically interactive components such as that of the Pacman box mentioned above, we can all expect to see an exponentially larger number of gamified packaging applications and examples as time moves on.


And while gamification may seem like a potentially expensive dynamic to employ in your packaging department, gamified aspects of packaging can also be implemented in effective yet more affordable ways. With a little creativity, gamified packaging offers unique opportunities to interact with your consumers and draw them closer to your brand through gamified experiences.


You can start simply by looking at your current packaging supplies, branding, and message. Next, you should be able to find areas of your packaging that can be gamified. Asking questions of your customer base through online questionnaires and forms will allow you to develop information on which area of your packaging could benefit from gamification.


When used correctly, gamified packaging materials give you the ability to interject your products into the hands of the consumer in an efficient and creative way.


Whether utilizing digital technologies or more simplified applications of gamification, the use of gamified packaging will likely provide a return on investment. A return shown in revenue, but also in deepening the relationship of your brand to your consumers in a way that is engrossing for your customers.


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About Nathan Dube

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.