Gamification and Fashion

da | VIDEO

If this is the time of pop-up stores, the “timed” retail store that has become a key element of marketing strategies in the fashion sector across the board, from luxury to sportswear, the same can also be said of another experience that takes the name gamification.

Gamification is the use of elements borrowed from gaming and game design techniques: the term – says Wikipeda – was introduced for the first time in 2010 by Jesse Schell, an American game designer.

The term in Italian could be “ludicizzazione”, (similar to “playfulness”), referring to the method of using games and prize/reward mechanisms in order to involve current or potential clients. Gamification has proven to be very useful in this sense and has therefore become an efficient marketing tool in a scenario where customer experience is an increasingly distinctive element for every brand.

Currently reigning is omnichannel marketing, or the capacity to orchestrate interaction between clients and brands through all available channels – physical stores and online, email, SMS – and social media is gaining an increasing presence together with a multitude of chats and apps: gamification sits within this context and numerous fashion brands have already taken on this challenge.

Kenzo has launched a “gamified e-shopping experience” to promote their Sonic sneakers, while Nike has launched Reactland, an environment in which clients can try the React shoes.

Fred Perry and Raf Simons have launched a kind of map in the style of Google Street View: users can buy whatever items they see worn by the passers-by they come across.

Through its eponymous app, Gucci has debuted Gucci Arcade, a section dedicated to videogames and inspired by the game rooms of the 80s.

Confirming the rise of gamification in fashion is a partnership between the same Gucci and Drest, an app that defines itself as “the world’s first interactive luxury styling game”: the platform (official launch date in early 2020) has announced a partnership that includes a series of creative challenges with Gucci garments, the first brand to have its own avatar.

Luis Vuitton has also given in by launching Endless Runner, a videogame inspired by the urban New York landscape and style of the 80s while, on the occasion of the Major League Baseball playoffs, Adidas created a videogame with 8-bit graphics via Snapchat, making it possible to buy two models of shoes inspired again by the gaming atmosphere of the 80s.

Nike went even further and purchased Tally/TraceMe: born to allow fans to interact with sports stars, today it is an extended platform aiming to involve the public in specific events, and could help Nike to make the most out of the endorsement method in an alternative way.

The gamification fever has also struck Burberry, which launched B Bounce: the brand’s first online game consists in reaching the moon using an avatar that resembles a deer and that wears a Thomas Burberry monogram puffer jacket chosen by the user.

Emanuela Pirré

Teacher at Accademia del Lusso