GamesBeat

Bunchball personalizes “Flamethrower” gamification for each user

Bunchball has made a name for itself by gamifying web sites and business applications so that users are more engaged. Now, the company is personalizing gamification to target individual users with its new Nitro Flamethrower offering.

To date gamification has been one size fits all users. But just as Amazon has begun offering personal web stores to each customer, Bunchball will enable companies to customize their gamification layers and rewards for each person visiting the site.

“This is gamification 2.0 and a big leap beyond what we did before,” Rajat Paharia (pictured), chief product officer of the San Jose, Calif.-based company told VentureBeat.

Version 4.3 of the Nitro Gamification Engine, code-named Flamethrower, is a completely revamped system that sets up filters for customers so they can motivate people with personalized, collaborative, and rewarding game mechanics, said Paharia.

First-generation gamification, as created by Bunchball in 2007, has been similar to first-generation e-commerce, where everyone saw the same storefront when they visited a web site. They got the same deals, displayed items, and recommendations. First-generation gamification offered users visiting a web site the same missions, challenges, achievements, and rewards — all in the name of getting them more engaged with the site.

But Paharia found that as his team created more solutions for enterprise customers, everyone was different. E-commerce vendors now have a different store for each buyer that reflects that buyer’s likes and dislikes, targeted recommendations, and personalized feel.

“In deeper use cases inside companies, we found there was a lot more segmentation of the audience,” Paharia said.

With Flamethrower, each gamification mission, such as getting someone to tweet about the site, can now be tailored for each user. Sites can also tailor rewards for each user, whether that be virtual goods, physical rewards, or various kinds of peer recognition. Inside a big company, different missions can be tailored for lead generators, field sales reps, or enterprise account managers.

Gartner analyst Brian Blau said that gamification is key to any system that helps companies better connect with their customers.

“Today, users expect every digital experience to be personalized, collaborative, and rewarding,” Paharia said.

Bunchball’s customers include Warner Bros., Comcast, USA Network, Bravo, and Hasbro. Bunchball’s investors include Granite Ventures, Triangle Peak Partners, Northport Investments, Correlation Ventures, and Adobe. Bunchball has 55 employees and has raised $17.5 million to date. Rivals include Big Door, Badgeville, Gigya, and Crowdtwist.

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[Image credits: Bunchball]


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