Lessons Learned from Zelda and Mario: 4 Tips for Adapting Gaming Principles for Deeper Qualitative Insights

Here are 4 ways to leverage key gaming elements in your qualitative projects.

Over the past few years the MR industry has been talking about how gamification can increase engagement in quantitative surveys, yielding more actionable results for brand managers.  We believe the same impact can be achieved in qualitative research studies.

To uncover deeper insights and more brand-building ideas, here are 4 ways to leverage key gaming elements in your qualitative projects:

1. Tap into consumers’ competitive spirit: Leveraging the “beat the clock” spirit behind games like “Minute to Win It,” give participants a timed challenge such as “generate 10 new product ideas or line extensions (flavors, textures, scents, etc.) in 2 minutes.” A timed task will yield a broader array of responses than simply asking, “How can this product be improved?”

2. Include role-playing, a series of quests or a challenging task: In the Legend of Zelda video games, different roles and decisions yield new powers, skills and opportunities. To uncover new opportunities for your brand, consider adding a role-playing activity: “If you were a NASCAR pit-crew mechanic, how could you help airline mechanics to turn planes around more efficiently?” Or give participants a specific task to complete, such as creating a menu to exclusively address a given need-state like “Mom’s night off.”

3. Add mental puzzles or problem-solving activities: Chess is a wonderful game of “what if?” Players consider the possible moves for each of their own pieces as well as for those of their opponent. Design-thinking teams can benefit from “what if” challenges by having participants answer questions such as “What if all flour was gluten-free?” or “What would life be like in a world without oil?” Consumers’ input on possible implications/ramifications helps teams consider alternate outcomes and craft more relevant solutions.

4. Offer rewards: In Monopoly, players collect $200 each time they pass go.   Why not reward or incentivize participants to complete tasks, create video blogs or provide detailed product-usage diary entries?  The participant who earns the most points is then rewarded with an additional incentive and the brand manager is rewarded with deeper insights.

Leveraging elements from card, board and video games can not only make qualitative research more fun and engaging for participants, it can also yield insights for products that win in the marketplace.


This content was originally published by Doyle Research Associates, Inc. . Visit their website at www.doyleresearch.com.

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