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author: @aestranger

Reading time: 4 minutes

Belonging and why it’s important for your players

For this week’s blog, I wanted to try out a new short-form of presentation, rather than the multi-page long forms I’ve done in the past. And the topic that I thought most of you would like to read and learn insights about in a shorter form would be the motivational lever of Belonging.

Belonging is one of the six motivational levers that we cover in our book; Press Start: Using Gamification to power-up your Marketing. If you would like to learn more about it and others, along with their associated mechanics then please do have a look at the book, available from Bloomsbury on Amazon, and other retailers.  

The power of the motivation to belonging cannot be understated, the want and need for it is a strong drive for many of us. As individuals we intrinsically need to connect with others who are like-minded, and we want to be part of something larger than ourselves. Being part of communities and society grants us a sense of comfort and safety.

Belonging, therefore, is an absolute necessity in today’s world. As creators we should be looking for ways to bring people together, promote understanding & social relatedness, and engage people in a positive manner. This is both true for society and businesses.

Motivational Lever – Belonging

“Belonging is a strong motivational lever that many games and businesses often use, not only to recruit more customers but also to increase their customer engagement and loyalty.” (Griffin, D., van der Meer, A. 2019)

Within business, the motivational lever of belonging is not something that should be ignored. It is a must if you wish to engage and retain loyal customers. Thankfully belonging is also one of the most versatile motivational levers’ that you as a business owner can use. It can be added to almost any other lever, but the strongest interaction between two different levers, for business and society, is the combination of the motivational lever of Purpose and Belonging.

One of the main mechanics in purpose is narrative, and by adding a strong and suitable story that creates a desirable objective, the efforts of the lever of belonging will be strengthened even further. With a stronger sense of belonging you will see an improvement in a group’s homogeny, loyalty and engagement. Be that group your customer base, a player base or a segment of society that value an increase in communication and collaboration.


“Encouraging communication between your players and empowering the most dedicated players will quickly ensure that your communities work and become self-sufficient.” (Griffin, D., van der Meer, A. 2019)

Belonging is not an abstract concept that will spontaneously occur if a large enough of people gather in one spot, like a celestial body. Belonging requires the active effort of collaboration and communication between the individuals in a group before it can sustain itself.

Working together and creating a dialogue between people will offer a level of understanding that may not have existed before among those engaged in it. This improvement in awareness can occur beyond the level of the individual and can arise between parties of differing views, between corporations and employees or between sellers and buyers.

As a business, you need to facilitate and encourage these insights between you and your customers. Doing this will lead to an alignment between you and help improve your success rate in engaging with them and empowering them.

Final Thoughts

If you take away nothing else from this piece, then you need to remember that Belonging is a powerful motivator, but it must be used correctly and for positive reasons and goals.

It has the potential to bring your players together organically and if done right, it can build a genuine connection for your players to your gamified experience, which should offer value to both you and them.

But keep in mind that the efforts to create a sense of belonging must always be an authentic and positive influence on your players. This is so that both you and the player can benefit from the engagement and subsequent loyalty.


If you would like to learn more about motivational lever’s, gamification or it’s application to various other business situations, such as marketing, then please do have a look at our book: Press Start: Using Gamification to Power-up Your Marketing

I hope that this piece has given you some food for thought and helped improve your own methods or at least offered a different viewpoint to consider.

Please do check out the other posts on æ, and please do leave a comment or contact us if you have some ideas of your own that you wish to discuss or if you would like to see other topics discussed.

Please do Share if you found it helpful and know of someone who would it find it helpful as well.



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