LitterLotto Inside Scoop.

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Gamification Insider Inside Scoop!

What is the Inside Scoop?

A monthly deep-dive into an organisation, product or service and how they are using gamification in their business.

We’ll talk about the specific gamification techniques used, explain what they are, why we think that business is using them and give you some ideas as to how those tools can be used by small businesses.

This issue of the Inside Scoop will be discussed in more detail at our monthly Codebreaker Club, available to Codebreaker level members and higher at 1pm on 13th March. 


March’s Inside Scoop is all about LitterLotto.

A description from their website: “LitterLotto® is a free to enter Prize Draw, with regular spot prizes and huge jackpots, supported by brands who want a cleaner environment.

To enter, simply use the app to take a picture of litter as you place it in a bin. Each time you submit a new piece of litter it’s another chance to win!

LitterLotto is available globally, with different Jackpot levels wherever you are!”

I absolutely love that they are using gamification to try and clear litter. Gamification for social good is fantastic in my eyes!

Let’s look at some of the techniques they’re using! 

Rewards | Gamification technique 1.

Wait? Didn’t we cover this in a previous Inside Scoop? Yep! There will sometimes be repeats in the Inside Scoop as organisations use the same techniques. It’s always a good thing to see more examples of how different businesses use the same technique, or how they use it differently. Here’s a refresher:

Rewards are incentives or prizes which can be used to motivate or increase engagement. Rewards can be very expensive or cost nothing but time. Different people will find different types of rewards motivating and something that motivates one person might be de-motivating to others.

An example of where I have used rewards to motivate myself was when I completed the London To Brighton charity bike ride. For context; I hate cycling, I find it difficult and quite painful. I’m not designed for it. There were gale-force winds, hail stones and torrential rain and I didn’t want to be there. To top it all off, all of my friends had dropped out, so I was doing it alone with thousands of strangers. 

Once the weather turned, I was freezing and my shoes were full of water I had to find ways to convince my brain to keep going. To motivate myself I simply told myself that once I got to the next planned break stop I could have a hot chocolate and then make a decision about whether or not to continue to the next planned break stop and so on. The hot chocolate was free, it didn’t cost me anything. I used free rewards to help me to complete the race.

Where do you see this in the game world? 

Rewards are hugely prevalent in the game world. Many video games feature Experience Points (XP) as a reward for completing tasks, defeating enemies or reaching goals. Sometimes they can be exchanged for items, or skills or used to level up. In board games, you may find that when you achieve something you gain resources, special abilities, cards or tokens as a reward, which usually help you to progress in the game. In sports rewards for actions are usually points on the board, which lead to winning or losing.

How does LitterLotto use the technique of Rewards and why?

Prizes are the main draw of this app. By simply uploading a photo of you putting rubbish in the bin you could win a big cash prize. As I write this there is a weekly cash prize of £1,000 available as well as other prizes. £1,000 for simply binning your rubbish is quite the incentive!

What is this all for, though? Who on earth wants to pay people to reduce litter? This is taken directly from the Google Play store where you can download the app

“McDonald’s has partnered with LitterLotto, the free app that rewards responsible binning of any litter with prizes from £5 to £10,000.

For too long, McDonald’s has seen the packaging of discarded dips, forgotten fries and bygone burgers littering our roadsides.”

There are other partners for the app too, with many local councils and organisations getting involved to solve this problem.

I live relatively close to a 24-hour McDonald’s drive-through and on our sporadic litter picks their branded rubbish always features. It doesn’t reflect well on them and I would hazard a guess that the partnership with this app is in the spirit of PR. Should people complain that McDonald’s is causing an environmental mess with discarded branded food and drink cartons, they can showcase the results of the app. The app aims to change people’s rubbish habits by encouraging them to put rubbish into the bin instead of on the floor.

These brands have an investment in reducing the local litter for one reason or another and they are using the gamification technique of rewards to incentivise people to put their rubbish in the bin regularly; with the hopes of building better habits locally.

Is the technique of Rewards something you could apply to your business?

Rewards is a gamification technique that can be extremely effective in motivating people. However, if you get it wrong and use the wrong kinds of incentives you could accidentally demotivate people from taking action. 

I’ve been in competitions where I’ve not tried to get the first prize because I didn’t want the prize offered, instead aiming for third place as that was the incentive for me. I’m sure the business running the competition would have preferred everyone to compete for first prize. You can hopefully see from this how important using the correct incentive or reward can be!

Let’s start with using rewards to motivate yourself to take action. You know yourself best, so it’ll hopefully be a little easier to know what you reward yourself with! Think about something you’re avoiding doing or have been procrastinating about for a while and consider what rewards you could give yourself for achieving that task, or rewards for doing parts of the task.

The example I gave in the Inside Scoop about NHS Blood Donation was:
“They can be tiny rewards like; if I finish this blog post by midday then I can have a cup of tea and a biscuit. Or they can be huge rewards like if I hit my income goal for this month then I’ll be able to afford to upgrade my car, and everything in between. Rewards are a very personal thing so make sure to tailor them.

Again, when it comes to rewarding your customers, students, members or audience think about things you would like them to take action on (ideally things they also want to take action on!) and consider how you can reward them for that.”

Let’s say you want people to engage more with your marketing. Could you offer a chance to win a reward for every person who engages with a certain post, shares your story or replies to your marketing email?

Consider what might be valuable for them to win, it might be as simple as a shoutout to your audience or a virtual badge. Though you may love to win a spa day you might discover that your audience isn’t interested in that, and would prefer something completely unexpected. Every audience is different. 

Relatedness | Gamification technique 2.

Wait? Didn’t we cover this in a previous Inside Scoop? Yep! There will sometimes be repeats in the Inside Scoop as organisations use the same techniques. It’s always a good thing to see more examples of how different businesses use the same technique, or how they use it differently. Here’s a refresher:

Time to talk about self-determination theory. This is a psychological theory concerned with motivation and in terms of gamification specifically, we focus on three things mainly: autonomy, competence and relatedness.

Relatedness is the need to feel connected.

Humans are innately social creatures and for some, being connected to others can be highly motivating. Relatedness comes down to a feeling of belonging.

Where do you see Relatedness in the game world?

Some games will ask you to work in teams, this is relatedness. You may have to help someone in order to get to the next level in some video games, again relatedness. In other games, you can gift items to other players, or request items all in the name of relatedness. 

How does LitterLotto use Relatedness and why?

LitterLotto encourages you to invite your friends to the app in exchange for bonus entries to the prize draw. They are using the gamification technique of rewards in combination with relatedness to increase the number of people that use the app and hopefully to make a great impact on litter! 

In essence, what LitterLotto has here is a referral/affiliate programme. They give their users a unique link for their friends to sign up with and are rewarded with coins. (We’ll look at the coins in the next section)

There is also a section of the app called Your League. I believe the idea is that you can be in a league with your friends or colleagues on your litter binning journey. I’m not 100% sure how it works, so they could do more to encourage and explain this but it feels very much like a relatedness feature.

Is the technique of Relatedness something you could apply to your business

In addition to the ideas shared in the Inside Scoop about Spotify, the Inside Scoop about Amazon Shopping, the Inside Scoop about Spotify Wrapped and the Inside Scoop about Goodreads when it comes to adding relatedness to your business, consider if the methods LitterLotto has used could be applied to your business.

Could you incentivise your audience, customers or people you know to promote your products or services in exchange for a fee, or a chance to win something?

It doesn’t have to be financial, think about what they might find valuable and offer that. You could even ask them what they might like.

Depending on how expensive the product or service is you may not need many people to work as referral partners or affiliates for a good return.

It’s best to find people who like your product or service and are already using it if you can so that they can authentically promote on your behalf.

You could also do some referral or affiliate marketing yourself by promoting brands/products/services that you use and like. This could add a revenue stream to your business. Consider whether or not the things you want to promote would be of interest to your audience and then have a look if a referral programme or affiliate programme exists and if it doesn’t, get in touch with the business, they may decide to start one!

Points | Gamification technique 3

Points noun (GAME) – The Cambridge Dictionary Definition:
a unit used for showing who is winning in a game or competition.

Points are often paired with the gamification technique of rewards within gamified systems to encourage people to take action. A system will be developed to decide how much a point is worth both in terms of actions taken to earn the point and also what that point can be spent on. Points can be called different things like tokens or credits, but they are essentially the same thing; a game mechanic used to quantify the value of actions.

Where do you see this in the game world?

In some video games building up points may allow you to purchase extra lives, equipment, access to new areas and more. In some board games, you may need to achieve a certain number of points to win the game.. In sports rewards for actions are usually points on the board, which lead to winning or losing.

How does LitterLotto use Points and why?

When you invite a friend to join the app you are rewarded with a ‘coin’ and you can earn coins by binning litter too. You can spend the coins on different offers like cooking equipment gift cards and more – see the images below. Even more incentive to invite your friends and bin that litter! 

All of this is of benefit to LitterLotto, the more people that use the app and take part the better it looks when approaching potential funding partners or sponsors for the app and also it helps to achieve their main aim of reducing litter.

Is the technique of Points something you could apply to your business?

Let’s say you have a team that you’d like to motivate to make more sales, you could state that every sale is equal to one point and if your salespeople achieve a certain number of points they can trade it in for an afternoon off, a bonus or something else! Many sales teams use gamification to keep everyone motivated.

You could use a similar setup to motivate yourself. I often gamify my own sales tasks in this way; allocating a different reward depending on how many sales I achieve within a set timeframe.

If you run a membership or course, you could allocate points to different activities like watching training videos, engaging in the community or something else that fits with what you are trying to help them to achieve. You could create a scale of rewards that they can swap their points for, or decide that when they reach a certain number of points resources will unlock for them.

There is a lot you can do with points in business!

Leaderboards | Gamification technique 4.

The Cambridge Dictionary Definition: Leaderboard noun. 
a board or list showing the names and scores of those who are doing best in a game, competition, etc

Leaderboards and points are likely the first thing that most people think of when considering gamification. A way of ranking people by actions taken. They are something we see a lot in games, sports, gameshows, competitions and more. They can be a fantastic tool to motivate people to take action if the people taking part are the kinds of people who like competition.

However, be careful as not everyone is a fan of competition and so a leaderboard could be demotivating for them. I would suggest that you allow people to opt in or opt out of leaderboards for this reason.

Where do you see Leaderboards in the game world?

In video games, there might be a leaderboard if you are playing against others locally or even globally. These are common in mobile games too. In sports league tables are essentially a giant leaderboard. In athletics, there are leaderboard to see where you are against competitors.

So how does LitterLotto use Leaderboards and why?

In LittlerLotto their leaderboard is under the heading ‘Ranking’ showing you where you sit against other users. This is what LitterLotto shared about this new feature:

“You now have the chance to compete directly against other users from across the world!

We wanted to make sure all of the competitive souls out there had a chance to compete against one another.
The ranking screen on the app shows two ‘rankings’;

1) Your rank over the last 7 days compared to other users across the world. The app will also explain how many extra pieces of litter you would have had to submit in order to be higher up in the rankings.

2) Your rank over the last 30 days compared to other users across the world. The app will also explain how many extra pieces of litter you would have had to submit in order to be higher up in the rankings.

We hope you enjoy the competitive element of this section and we can’t wait to keep track of the fierce litter binning!

Good luck.”

By showing users where they rank in the community and how much more litter they need to bin to be higher in the rankings they are motivating people to throw more rubbish away. This again meets their main objective of reducing litter while also keeping their community engaged with the app regularly.

Are Leaderboards something you could apply to your business?

Let’s say you’re the competitive sort and you’d like to use leaderboards to motivate yourself.

Pick the thing you’re trying to stay accountable for, let’s say it’s increasing your followers on Instagram. Then, find a competitor who’s at a similar level to you and monitor their following to measure yourself against them. Now, I’d suggest you find a few people to measure against rather than just one, because if they’re having a poor month and you do better than them you’ll lose momentum as you’ll feel you’ve beat them easily. So you could compare yourself against a few people and always add more people into the mix to keep it fresh and keep challenging yourself. Your reward here is that you secretly know who you are doing better than while also striving to do better in competition with past you!

To motivate others using leaderboards, consider what I said earlier, that not everyone is motivated by leaderboards so make sure you give people the chance to opt out, don’t make it compulsory. Think about something you’d like to motivate your audience or community to do and whether or not a leaderboard might be appropriate. You can use leaderboards for short-term challenges or competitions or longer-term in ongoing memberships and groups. You also don’t have to use any fancy tech for leaderboards you could create this using pen and paper and stick it up on your wall or using Canva if you don’t want a massive outlay on tech.

Time to wrap this up!

We’ve covered a lot in this issue. A deep-dive into LitterLotto and some of the gamification techniques they’ve used to keep their users engaged and attract more users to reduce litter and also as leverage to attract more funding partners.

We’ve covered four gamification techniques; Rewards, Relatedness, Points and Leaderboards.

We’ve also given you some ideas of how you could implement these in your business.

We will be discussing these techniques in more depth and workshopping how you could apply them in your business in the Codebreaker Club on 13th March

In pursuit of truth,
Kimba 🔍 

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