Modifying Gamification Design Framework Octalysis for India

First of all let me give a brief introduction of Gamification and Octalysis. Gamification is defined as the addition of game mechanics to programs, processes and platforms that normally would not use such features.

Octalysis is a Gamification framework that employs eight point approach to implement a successful gamification technique. This framework has been developed by Yu-kai Chou who is a Pioneer of gamification.Gamification framework Octalysis

The eight core drivers of the gamification design framework are:

  • Epic Meaning and Calling:

In this the consumer believes that he is doing something greater than himself. The consumer feels that his actions will result in something that is good for the society and he becomes a hero in his mind.

  • Development & Accomplishment:

People are driven by their urge to accomplish things and succeed. The best example is in the case of eBay. In this particular case, whenever a person wins a bid and buys something, he is defeating some others in achieving that, which gives him a sense of victory. This positive association will bring him back to the site. Progress bars in many websites also use this factor

  • Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback:

This uses the need of humans to constantly engage in things around them and make meaningful and creative patterns from them. They would like to create meaningful patterns from random observations. Leveraging this inherent behavior of humans and giving them an opportunity to exercise their creativity will ensure the success of the activity. Crowd sourced marketing efforts are examples for this

  • Ownership & Possession:

Consumers want to own or possess things, which is an innate need. When someone owns something, he will have a natural urge to protect it and to invest more in it. Thus, by giving a virtual object or avatar for the consumer to own or possess, engagement will be increased

  • Social Influence & Relatedness:

This factor takes in to account all social gamification elements like social acceptance, envy, pride etc. Access to a privileged airport lounge is an application of this factor used by some credit card companies. Further, social influence also accounts for peer perception of behavior

  • Scarcity & Impatience:

This factor utilizes humans increased desire to use something when it is denied. Games like Farmville use this Appointment dynamics to keep consumers come back to their site and help its sponsors

  • Curiosity & Unpredictability:

Humans are always curious and want to know what’s in store for them in the future. Marketers make use of this and create contests to keep the people engaged

  • Loss & Avoidance:

This factor utilises the concept of sunk cost. When consumers have already invested a considerable amount of money and time in a campaign/contest , they will be motivated to take it to the logical conclusion. Thus, if the activity keeps them engaged for sufficiently long durations of time, they will be driven to complete the activity

Read the article : Octalysis: Complete Gamification Framework from official website of Yu-kai Chou for complete details of the framework.

Modified version of Octalysis for Indian market

With respect to the Indian context we can add one more driver to the 8 core drivers in framework i.e. Accumulation and 3 parameters to it – Saving for future, time-growth of incentives, Clan accumulation.


  • Saving for future:

Indians are obsessed with savings on every purchase and hence bargaining and discounts are part of every shopping experience for both customers and sellers in India. This behavior can be leveraged and options can be provided for storage of earned rewards that can be used later.

  • Time-growth of incentives

As interests are offered over the principal amount in a bank, similarly provision of growth in rewards over time can be added as an additional incentive, so as to tap into the savings mentality of the participant and also ensure long-term participation.

  • Clan accumulation

This feature can increase the reach and number of participants with the option of allowing merging of rewards which would result in a greater amount than the sum of the individual rewards. This will encourage cooperation and also motivate participants to expand their network.

Adding parameters to 2 of the 8 core drivers

1.    Social Influence

  • Family involvement

India has a culture that is very family-centric. Thus, there will be more resonance with the masses if features specific to interaction with other participants belonging to the same family can be incorporated.

  • Festival specific engagement

Another aspect of Indian culture that is quite significant is the importance awarded to festivals. Thanks to this festival dominance – It brings lots of Holidays!! Festivals serve as occasions to pay respects to deities, since religion is integral to India, and also as family gatherings. Having events or apps that specifically cater to these festivals will likely garner greater patronage.

2.     Accomplishment

  • Intellectual challenge

The target audience of gamification in India tends to be the educated class, who are ikely to appreciate a challenge that is less physical and more intellectual.

  • Family gratification

As mentioned earlier, family is the soul of Indian culture. An additional way to leverage this is to provide specific forums or methods by which a participant who has reached a certain level of accomplishment can get his/her family to appreciate the feat.

4 ways of Increasing Engagement using Gamification

There is a famous proverb “A picture is worth a thousand words”. A game comprises thousands of moving pictures and images within seconds. Just think how powerful tool a game is, for your marketing and engagement strategy. Gamification is defined as the use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage users in solving problems and has an enormous scope to be used in Advertising.

The techniques involved in the application of gamification appeal to people’s tendency to naturally compete, yearn for status and achievement, and express themselves. A recent trend that has been observed that is growing in adoption is the application of gamification techniques to marketing communication. Major companies like Coca Cola have successfully invested in gamification.

Reasons to swap traditional ads with gamificationgamification design framework

1.   Advertising Wear-out

This occurs when there is repetition of an ad and individuals get saturated with numerous exposures and the ad ceases to have an effect. The clutter in the market forces the marketer to give maximum exposure of the ad to the consumer leading to wear out.

2.   Sensory adaption

In marketing context, advertisements are nothing but sensory inputs like seeing, hearing or touching. Consumers get used to sensory inputs if the inputs are not significantly different especially in low involvement products. Sensory adaption can be avoided by clutter breaking advertisements which is a difficult task.

How Gamification helps?

  • Gamification helps in producing optimal arousal among the consumers.
  • Involvement of the consumer is deeper so the intended message is clearly communicated and customer engagement is enhanced.
  • Higher scope of social media marketing.
  • Greater scope of innovation that can change consumer’s behavior.

Gamification employs Instrumental conditioning or Operant conditioning: Learning occurs in a controlled environment in which individuals are rewarded for choosing an appropriate behavior.

4 ways of increasing engagement using Gamification

 1.   Accelerated Feedback Cycles:

Gamification raises the velocity of feedback cycles, while feedback loops in the real world are extremely slow, in order to drive engagement.

2.   Clear goals and rules of play:

Provision of clear goals and properly defined rules of play will ensure that the players feel empowered and able to achieve the goals, thus keeping them interested and engaged.

3.   A compelling narrative:

A narrative that resonates with the players and keeps them engaged and encourages buy-in will ensure success.

4.   Tasks that are challenging but achievable:

Challenges in the real world are long-term and overwhelming. If the gamified application provides short term tasks that can be easily achieved, user engagement will be ensured.

You might be thinking that these are just simple and straightforward ways anybody can tell. If you think so then read this: Recent research showed that over US $50 billion was invested in Gamification programs in 2012, and most were unsuccessful due to the lack of use of intrinsic customer motivators.

What are intrinsic customer motivators?

Some of the most commonly used motivators are:

  • Ensuring that the customer felt intelligent and smart, and that the customer enjoyed the sense of exploration and discovery
  • Always putting the customer in a win-win situation, thus leveraging his innate sense of competitive behavior and making him feel successful
  • Awarding the customer a sense of reaching a particular social status by distinguishing them from their peers on various criteria
  • Making the entire process easy to follow and structured so that the customer feels in control and can easily find any information he is searching for

Social motivations for the use of gamification


  • Social Influence – Individual’s perception of how peers regard the particular behavior and whether peers expect one to behave in that manner
  • Recognition – Social feedback received for certain behavior
  • Reciprocal benefit – The benefit one would receive from the society by performing the activity
  • Network Exposure – Number of peers observing or using the service. Greater the number, greater the exposure and greater the network effect benefits
  • Attitude and Intentions – Attitude refers to the  overall evaluation of the system or service by the user and intention refers to the intention of continued usage and recommendations

For Indian marketers: Modify your Gamification techniques keeping these factors in mind. These will add flavours to your advertising and engagement strategies like hot extra cheese on a pan pizza!!

How do you plan to use Gamification for Marketing?