With the world of around affected more and more by reviews, influencers, recommendations and other, the rise of consumers’ affected decisions is having more and more of an impact over businesses. And, in our days, “Consumer Centric” is a key term, but what does it actually mean? For us, it means we take the consumer perspective from the start to the end. According to the AMA the Consumer centric business model has seven pillars.
Every consumer has different experience levels. The saying is “The Consumer is always right” but being consumer centric does not mean the consumer is always right. Being consumer centric means to be aware of the Gap between Consumer experience and Consumer Truth. But what has this to do with Gamification? Well, as we build our enablers around three core elements ( Definition, Dynamic world and Engine), we take a close look at the dynamic world. The Dynamic world is where we combine what we know and what we research about the Consumer; combining knowledge and research helps us diminishing the Gap between Consumer’s experience and truth.
A few examples on how to use enablers to become more Consumer Centric:
- By combining our character sheets with our engine, we are giving employees the power to minimize the Gap between experience and truth. Without understanding this Gap, we will misunderstand the consumers need.
- By Combining the Dynamic world with the definition, we can minimize the Gap between Consumer needs and Company profile. Without being able to combine these two, miscommunications and misunderstanding will occur.
- By combining our Engine, Dynamic world and our definition, we can understand the view from three side – Consumer, employee and Company – and we can start building true empathy between them, in order to become more Consumer centric.
- Like any other strategical approach, Gamification needs a front runner and to be championed by ambassadors. We create these champions during our process within the engine and within the definition.
In gamification, it is of paramount importance to design your game for optimal loyalty, not only for consumers but also among your employees. The engine is meant to be an employees forum to be heard, the dynamic world is the consumers forum and the definition – the opportunity for management to be heard.
- Loyalty can be built on small things, from remembering employees’ birthdays to remembering the name of the consumer. For our framework this lays in the frontend, we call these elements our UX. The consumers experience with the company. Remember UX is more then nice design
- One of our standard components will be a reward and appreciation system. Why is that? It is a way of building loyalty as everyone likes to know when they are doing a great job.
- If you empower and encourage your employees and consumer, they will sell you! Understand the Engine, understand your employees, then empower and encourage them. Do the same with the consumers.
We built our game based on the knowledge we have regarding the company brand (The Definition), on what we know about the consumer – not only data (Dynamic World) and on what resources we have internally (Engine).
Communication is one of the clear areas where you can see the effect of building a game through our framework. For us, Communication must have three key elements to be successful: Understanding consumer, understanding ourselves and have a clear understanding of resources. Communication is complex and it represents a big part of being Consumer centric in strategy.
- Fit your email type to your consumer and company profil. But how you can execute that depends on what type of resources you have internally. Do not promises more to your consumers then what your definition and engine can deliver. The game will make that clear and minimize the gap between consumer truth and experience.
- It is the same principle when it comes to other communication platforms: E-Commerce, SoMe, Retail, PR and so much more. Fit/Design the Engine, Dynamic world and definition to make a clear view on what components the consumer will experience and help close the gap
4. Product And Service Assortment
Gamification is ideal when you are designing your new service to be consumer centric. Just think: (almost) every product starts with a demand from the dynamic world (Consumers) or from the natural development of the company. No matter where it starts, you have to have understanding. Here are a few examples:
- Aligning the vision either from Definition to dynamic world or dynamic world to definition is core. A mismatch will lead to a fail product.
- When alignment has happened, internal resource needs to be fit before components of product can happen, weather it is Marketing components or Retail or financial.
- When there is an alignment between the enablers, then we can design the components of the products – physical components or other ones.
- In the end, the Consumer will have an experience with products and the components will minimize the gap between experience and truth if the enablers has been done right.
All this is about been consumer centric without the idea that the consumer is always right. Taking the consumer into the core of the company and letting their characters affect the decisions.
Just think if you are following your data, as the idea is that data is what can make a company consumer centric. But what are your competitors doing? Are they also following the data? So how can we break the cycle and become truly consumer in our promotion?
Our framework takes this in to account in the following ways:
- We built characters sheets based on data, but fill out the gaps with everything else. Our Characters sheets is the core of thinking and doing things difference. For instead some of our work in promotion are based on what type of intelligent the consumer has or what type of hair and eyes. By doing this our promotion are more relatable and engaging promotions.
- Our work with the dynamic world, engine and definition allows us to handle promotion on a very local level because it is easy for every department to understand the rules and the needs.
Remember! Understanding the consumer and also your company profile makes your pricing process so much easier because you do understand why the price is what it is. Gamification allows you to take the knowledge from Dynamic world and definition to minimize the gap between consumers experience when it comes to price, and you to tell the consumer truth about pricing.
Gamification allows you to be honest without damaging your brand our pushing consumers away!
We have not talked a lot about KPIs and measuring because that comes natural in any company. Gamification will take the knowledge from the engine and make it visible how you actually can collect feedback.
When we work with analytics in two ways, the standard collection of KPIs is loved by all the management, but does not give the same value as actually talking and having a connection with the consumer. For example:
- Built a consumer panel
- Built a consumer forum
- Be responsive in all contact
A lot more can be done and sharing thoughts and ideas is what we do happily.
A thought to remember: being consumer centric just means taking the consumer into the decisions process. This can be done in so many ways, but data is the level 1. Be consumer centric but never stand away from who you are and why you are. Resources are key and nothing will happen nor success will appear if the resources do not match the goal.
Anders Holmberg Lange is the Co-Founder of Entername, a company with the core belief that strategy should be simple, understandable and evolving. Designing 360 digital campaigns and leading selected clients from digital transformation to digital excellence in Marketing, business and sales.
Anders has been working with major global brands the last 15 years, taking them from digital transformation to digital strategy to digital excellence and delivering double digits growth rates across the board. He worked in industries like fashion, banking, entertainment and for leisure companies. No matter there were fortune 500 companies or startups, Anders was always building around a gamification approach creating win-win strategies.