Video game designers want their games to be as fun as possible so players can enjoy them for years without getting bored.  To that end, the video game industry uses a wide variety of mechanics based on behavioral science research, for example: scoring, competition, achievements, prizes, and many many more.

Gamification is the application of these game elements in non-game contexts to increase people's engagement with real-life activities.  One example of this is customer loyalty programs, where you earn points (scoring) for shopping that can be redeemed for discounts or free products (prizes).  Another example is how activity trackers like Fitbit encourage you to hit a certain step count per day (achievements) and share activity data with your friends (competition).

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Fitness as a journey

Each member has their own reason for joining your club, whether it's losing weight, building muscle, or improving their health.  Finding a diet and exercise plan to achieve their goals is usually the easy part...  The hard part is helping them stick with it, week after week, for the time that it takes to achieve their goals.  Getting in shape is a slow process, and many new members experience frustration after they put in the work for a month or two and fail to see the progress they expect.  In some cases, that frustration can even lead people to give up altogether.

Using gamification, it's possible to help members feel a sense of progress without relying just on the number displayed by the scale.  Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Goals based on attendance - set a clear target for number of visits per week or per month and enable members to earn rewards for hitting the target
  • Bonuses for incremental improvements - offer points or positive feedback for members that do one more rep or run one more mile than last week
  • Consistency leaderboard - create a competition for whoever visits at least once a week for the most weeks in a given season
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Of course, these are just few examples of how you can use gamification to make your member journey more engaging.  Once you start looking for it, you'll begin to notice how stores, websites, and companies all around you use gamification, and you can use them for further inspiration.  There are an infinite number of ways you can creatively encourage members to "keep playing the game" and making progress toward their goals.

CoachAi uses advanced gamification methods to improve member engagement and retention for your club. Learn more 👉