Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Fitness Game

In my last blog I talked about customers being born competitors, and used coffee consumption as an example of how a business can use gamification to blow on the competitive ember inside every customer and ignite their desire to be better. This is nothing new; I'm just stating the obvious. Brands all over the world have already proved, using gamification strategies, that turning the regular consumption (or purchase) of a product (be it coffee or hot dogs) into a game will motivate customers to be competitive and thus increase their propensity to consume more frequently and in turn, be more loyal to the brand. Aussie brands are also getting in on the action, with big brands like Wendy's jumping on the gamification bandwagon every day.
While this all sounds great for brands trying to flog their products, it's certainly not the only way businesses can benefit from gamification. Cue CrossFit... a fitness program with gamification at its core; where the product is gamification!

If you haven't already heard of CrossFit, you will. It's a fitness program that, in recent years, has exploded into a worldwide craze (yes, just like Zumba). At its most basic level, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning fitness program that combines a number of traditional activities, ranging from weightlifting to medicine ball training, and presents them in short high intensity workouts (called Workouts of the Day or WODs).

CrossFit was founded in 1995 by Greg Glassman, who used the program to help train a police department. CrossFit has since been used all over the world by fire departments, military organisations and law enforcement agencies. However, it wasn’t until CrossFit affiliates started using scoring and ranking systems (game mechanics), to transform the WODs into a game, that the everyday customer started taking notice and getting involved.
How does it work? CrossFit practitioners complete a set WOD as fast as they can (using correct methods) and are timed doing so. Their times are used to rank them against other ‘CrossFitters’ (like Jye Smith). The rankings act like a leaderboard at the gym and the times are used in regular conversation among CrossFitters, i.e. ‘How fast can you do this WOD?’

CrossFit turned fitness into a sport using gamification.

So successful (and addictive) is CrossFit that it has spawned its own version of the Olympic Games. The CrossFit Games started in 2007 and have increased in popularity ever since. Now, competitors from all over the world get involved for the chance to win up to $1 million in prize money, with Reebok as the sponsor. Its big business, for everyone involved!
CrossFit used gamification to put the call out for ‘Motivated People Only’ and what happened? Motivated people are turning up in droves, with cash in hand, just begging to be better customers. As a business, you need to put the call out to your customers and get them motivated, excited and involved!

And here's a bonus meme for all the CrossFitters out there. I know we've seen thousands of these over the last few weeks, and are sick to death of them, but one more won't hurt...
Now, out of 50 points, how did all of you score in my blog?
  • 10 Points - You know what kipping is...
  • 10 Points - You follow Jye Smith on Twitter
  • 10 Points - You knew the guy in the image was doing a 'Snatch' (not this)
  • 10 Points - You know what meme means, and are sick of 'What I Really Do'
  • 10 Points - You timed yourself reading this blog, then re-read it to improve
- Digital Goose

1 comment:

  1. Knocking it out of the park dude, you were born to blog.

    30 points!