Last week I attended an interesting event at Deloitte's Technology Venture Center which has me thinking about the concept of gamification. The presenter, Dan Yates, CEO and Founder of Opower led a discussion about how the use of consumer peer pressure saves money, reduces energy consumption and helped build a multi-million dollar company.
Opower is a SaaS platform which focuses on the energy industry. Yates recognized how incredibly useless a traditional energy bill was and decided to do something about it. After performing some tests, he proved the more traditional utility-to-consumer message of "Save 20% on your energy bill just by doing X,Y or Z" was not working. Yates said how he decided to "benchmark against the norm" by telling customers how they were doing relative to their neighbors. His message was essentially "70% of your 100 nearby neighbors use less energy than you." This new message recognized an almost immediate significant reduction in energy consumption which is what has driven his company through its exponential growth.