Does gamified interaction build a strong consumer-brand connection? A study of mobile applications


  • Deepak Sangroya Jindal Global Business School, O.P. Jindal Global University, India
  • Rambalak Yadav Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad, India
  • Yatish Joshi School of Management Studies, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad, India



Gamification, Smartphone applications, Flow, Consumer brand engagement, Brand usage intent, Self-Brand conncection


In recent times gamification has increasingly been used by brands through smartphones to interact
effectively with their consumers. The core assumption for creating gamified environment is that it
will develop engagement with the consumer and motivate them to use their product or services.
However, beyond this assumption, there is dearth empirical evidence regarding how much effective
these gamified features are in engaging consumers. Therefore, this research analyses the relationship
between flow, brand engagement, self-brand connection and brand usage intent among consumers (N = 360)
of two gamified mobile applications. The findings show that the multidimensional construct flow formed
by five dimensions i.e. challenge, feedback, autonomy, immersion, and interaction positively associates
with cognitive brand engagement and emotional brand engagement. Additionally, both these forms of
brand engagement further strengthen consumers’ brand connection and motivate them for further use.
These results imply that gamified environment can augment consumer engagement with brand and
further increase usage intention. Therefore, gamification can be an effective technique in
brand management and brand managers can use it to strengthen relationship with consumers and increasing
possibility of using their brands.

Author Biographies

Deepak Sangroya, Jindal Global Business School, O.P. Jindal Global University, India

Deepak Sangroya is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Jindal Global Business School, O.P. Jindal Global University. He has a rich blend of work experience from both academics as well as industry. Deepak earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, and has completed Master of Business Administration from National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra. His research interest includes business-to-business marketing, green marketing, corporate environmental initiative, and business-to-business branding. He has contributed many research articles in refereed journals by leading publishers that include Elsevier, Springer, and Sage.

Yatish Joshi, School of Management Studies, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad, India

Yatish Joshi is an Assistant Professor in Marketing Management at Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India. He holds a Doctorate Degree in Marketing from Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India. His research interests lie in the area of green consumption, sustainable behavior and customer experience. Articles authored by him have been published in reputed international journals, such as Ecological Economics, International Journal of Hospitality Management, InternationalJjournal of Manpower, Sustainable Production and Consumption  etc. He is also the recipient of Emerald Literati Award of Excellence 2017.


Abuhamdeh, S., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2012). The importance of challenge for the enjoyment of intrinsically motivated, goal-directed activities. Personality and social psychology bulletin, 38(3), 317-330.

Agarwal, R., & Karahanna, E. (2000). Time flies when you're having fun: Cognitive absorption and beliefs about information technology usage. MIS Quarterly, 665-694.

Ashaduzzaman, M., Jebarajakirthy, C., Das, M., & Shankar, A. (2020). Acculturation and apparel store loyalty among immigrants in Western countries. Journal of Marketing Management, 1-32.

Bagozzi, R. P., & Yi, Y. (1988). On the evaluation of structural equation models. Journal of the academy of marketing science, 16(1), 74-94.

Barry, H., Bacon, M. K., & Child, I. L. (1957). A cross-cultural survey of some sex differences in socialization. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 55(3), 327.

Batra, R., Ahuvia, A., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2012). Brand love. Journal of marketing, 76(2), 1-16.

Berger, A., Schlager, T., Sprott, D. E., & Herrmann, A. (2018). Gamified interactions: whether, when, and how games facilitate self–brand connections. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 46(4), 652-673.

Bhattacharya, C. B., & Sen, S. (2003). Consumer–company identification: A framework for understanding consumers’ relationships with companies. Journal of marketing, 67(2), 76-88.

Breidbach, C., Brodie, R., & Hollebeek, L. (2014). Beyond virtuality: From engagement platforms to engagement ecosystems. Managing Service Quality, 24(6), 592–611.

Brakus, J. J., Schmitt, B. H., & Zarantonello, L. (2009). Brand experience: what is it? How is it measured? Does it affect loyalty? Journal of Marketing, 73(3), 52-68.

Brodie, R. J., Hollebeek, L. D., Jurić, B., & Ilić, A. (2011). Customer engagement: Conceptual domain, fundamental propositions, and implications for research. Journal of Service rResearch, 14(3), 252-271.

Bruhn, M., Schnebelen, S., & Schäfer, D. (2014). Antecedents and consequences of the quality of e-customer-to-customer interactions in B2B brand communities. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(1), 164-176.

Choi, D. H., Kim, J., & Kim, S. H. (2007). ERP training with a web-based electronic learning system: The flow theory perspective. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 65(3), 223-243.

Conaway, R., & Garay, M. C. (2014). Gamification and service marketing. SpringerPlus, 3(1), 653.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Csikzentmihaly, M. (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Vol. 1990). New York: Harper & Row.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Csikszentmihalyi, I. S. (Eds.). (1992). Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow Iin Consciousness. Cambridge university press.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., & LeFevre, J. (1989). Optimal experience in work and leisure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(5), 815.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Play and intrinsic rewards. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 15(3), 41-63.

Darejeh, A., & Salim, S. S. (2016). Gamification solutions to enhance software user engagement—a systematic review. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 32(8), 613-642.

Das, G. (2014). Impacts of retail brand personality and self-congruity on store loyalty: The moderating role of gender. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(2), 130-138.

Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., & Nacke, L. (2011, September). From game design elements to gamefulness: defining" gamification". In Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments (pp. 9-15).

Drell, L. (2014). An app a day keeps the doctor away. Marketing health services, 34(2), 20-23.

Edvardsson, B., Tronvoll, B., & Gruber, T. (2011). Expanding understanding of service exchange and value co-creation: a social construction approach. Journal of The Academy of Marketing Science, 39(2), 327-339.

Engeser, S., & Rheinberg, F. (2008). Flow, performance and moderators of challenge-skill balance. Motivation and Emotion, 32(3), 158-172.

Erturan-İlker, G., Yu, C., Alemdaroglu, U., & Köklü, Y. (2018). Basic psychological needs and self-determined motivation in physical education to predict health-related fitness level.

Escalas, J. E. (2004). Narrative processing: Building consumer connections to brands. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 14(1-2), 168-180.

Farzan, R., & Brusilovsky, P. (2011). Encouraging user participation in a course recommender system: An impact on user behavior. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(1), 276-284.

Federoff, M. A. (2002). Heuristics and usability guidelines for the creation and evaluation of fun in video games (Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University).

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39-50.

Fu, F. L., Su, R. C., & Yu, S. C. (2009). EGameFlow: A scale to measure learners’ enjoyment of e-learning games. Computers & Education, 52(1), 101-112.

Furby, L. (1978). Possession in humans: An exploratory study of its meaning and motivation. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 6(1), 49-65.

Gerbing, D. W., & Hamilton, J. G. (1996). Viability of exploratory factor analysis as a precursor to confirmatory factor analysis. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 3(1), 62-72.

Gould, S. J., & Weil, C. E. (1991). Gift-giving roles and gender self-concepts. Sex Roles, 24(9-10), 617-637.

Hamari, J., & Koivisto, J. (2015). Why do people use gamification services?. International Journal of Information Management, 35(4), 419-431.

Hamari, J., Shernoff, D. J., Rowe, E., Coller, B., Asbell-Clarke, J., & Edwards, T. (2016). Challenging games help students learn: An empirical study on engagement, flow and immersion in game-based learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 54, 170-179.

Hammedi, W., Leclerq, T., & Van Riel, A. C. (2017). The use of gamification mechanics to increase employee and user engagement in participative healthcare services. Journal of Service Management.

Harmeling, C. M., Moffett, J. W., Arnold, M. J., & Carlson, B. D. (2017). Toward a theory of customer engagement marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45(3), 312-335.

Harwood, T., & Garry, T. (2015). An investigation into gamification as a customer engagement experience environment. Journal of Services Marketing. 29(6/7), 533-546.

Ho, L. A., & Kuo, T. H. (2010). How can one amplify the effect of e-learning? An examination of high-tech employees’ computer attitude and flow experience. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(1), 23-31.

Hoffman, D. L., & Novak, T. P. (1996). Marketing in hypermedia computer-mediated environments: Conceptual foundations. Journal of Marketing, 60(3), 50-68.

Holbrook, M. B., Chestnut, R. W., Oliva, T. A., & Greenleaf, E. A. (1984). Play as a consumption experience: The roles of emotions, performance, and personality in the enjoyment of games. Journal of Consumer Research, 11(2), 728-739.

Hollebeek, L. (2011). Exploring customer brand engagement: definition and themes. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 19(7), 555-573.

Hollebeek, L. D., Glynn, M. S., & Brodie, R. J. (2014). Consumer brand engagement in social media: Conceptualization, scale development and validation. Journal of interactive marketing, 28(2), 149-165.

Hsu, C. L., & Lu, H. P. (2004). Why do people play on-line games? An extended TAM with social influences and flow experience. Information & Management, 41(7), 853-868.

Huang, H. C., Cheng, T. C. E., Huang, W. F., & Teng, C. I. (2018). Impact of online gamers’ personality traits on interdependence, network convergence, and continuance intention: Perspective of social exchange theory. International Journal of Information Management, 38(1), 232-242.

Huotari, K., & Hamari, J. (2017). A definition for gamification: anchoring gamification in the service marketing literature. Electronic Markets, 27(1), 21-31.

Insley, V., & Nunan, D. (2014). Gamification and the online retail experience. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management.

Islam, H., Jebarajakirthy, C., & Shankar, A. (2019). An experimental based investigation into the effects of website interactivity on customer behavior in on-line purchase context. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 1-24.

Jaakkola, E., Helkkula, A., & Aarikka-Stenroos, L. (2015). Service experience co-creation: conceptualization, implications, and future research directions. Journal of Service Management.

Jaakkola, E., & Alexander, M. (2014). The role of customer engagement behavior in value co-creation: a service system perspective. Journal of Service Research, 17(3), 247-261.

Jackson, S. A., & Marsh, H. W. (1996). Development and validation of a scale to measure optimal experience: The Flow State Scale. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 18(1), 17-35.

Jebarajakirthy, C., Yadav, R., & Shankar, A. (2020). Insights for luxury retailers to reach customers globally. Marketing Intelligence & Planning 38(7), 797-811.

Jebarajakirthy, C., & Shankar, A. (2021). Impact of online convenience on mobile banking adoption intention: A moderated mediation approach. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 58, 102323.

Johnson, D., & Wiles, J. (2003). Effective affective user interface design in games. Ergonomics, 46(13-14), 1332-1345.

Joshi, Y., Sangroya, D., Srivastava, A. P., & Yadav, M. (2019). Modelling the predictors of young consumers' sustainable consumption intention. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 24(4), e1663.

Kahle, L. R., & Homer, P. (1985). Androgyny and midday mastication: do real men eat quiche?. ACR North American Advances.

Kaur, P., Dhir, A., Chen, S., & Rajala, R. (2016). Flow in context: Development and validation of the flow experience instrument for social networking. Computers in Human Behavior, 59, 358-367.

Kolyesnikova, N., Dodd, T. H., & Wilcox, J. B. (2009). Gender as a moderator of reciprocal consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Marketing.

Koufaris, M. (2002). Applying the technology acceptance model and flow theory to online consumer behavior. Information Systems Research, 13(2), 205-223.

Kumar, V., & Pansari, A. (2016). Competitive advantage through engagement. Journal of Marketing Research, 53(4), 497-514.

Kumar, V., Aksoy, L., Donkers, B., Venkatesan, R., Wiesel, T., & Tillmanns, S. (2010). Undervalued or overvalued customers: capturing total customer engagement value. Journal of Service Research, 13(3), 297-310.

Kuo, A., & Rice, D. H. (2015). Catch and shoot: The influence of advergame mechanics on preference formation. Psychology & Marketing, 32(2), 162-172.

Lamberton, C., & Stephen, A. T. (2016). A thematic exploration of digital, social media, and mobile marketing: Research evolution from 2000 to 2015 and an agenda for future inquiry. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), 146-172.

Lee, J., Park, H., & Wise, K. (2014). Brand interactivity and its effects on the outcomes of advergame play. New Media & Society, 16(8), 1268-1286.

Lemon, K. N., & Verhoef, P. C. (2016). Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey. Journal of MMarketing, 80(6), 69-96.

Li, D., & Browne, G. J. (2006). The role of need for cognition and mood in online flow experience. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 46(3), 11-17.

Li, C. H., & Chang, C. M. (2016). The influence of trust and perceived playfulness on the relationship commitment of hospitality online social network-moderating effects of gender. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

Lowry, P. B., Vance, A., Moody, G., Beckman, B., & Read, A. (2008). Explaining and predicting the impact of branding alliances and web site quality on initial consumer trust of e-commerce web sites. Journal of Management Information Systems, 24(4), 199-224.

Lowry, P. B., Gaskin, J., Twyman, N., Hammer, B., & Roberts, T. L. (2013). Proposing the hedonic-motivation system adoption model (HMSAM) to increase understanding of adoption of hedonically motivated systems. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 14(11), 617-671.

Luna, D., Peracchio, L. A., & de Juan, M. D. (2002). Cross-cultural and cognitive aspects of web site navigation. Journal of The Academy of Marketing Science, 30(4), 397-410.

Luna, D., Peracchio, L. A., & Juan, M. D. D. (2003). Flow in individual web sites: model estimation and cross-cultural validation. ACR North American Advances.

Mason, E. S., & Mudrack, P. E. (1996). Gender and ethical orientation: A test of gender and occupational socialization theories. Journal of Business Ethics, 15(6), 599-604.

Mathwick, C., & Rigdon, E. (2004). Play, flow, and the online search experience. Journal of Consumer Research, 31(2), 324-332.

MarketsandMarkets (2016). Gamification market by solution., Accessed date: 10 May 2018.

McAlexander, J. H., Schouten, J. W., & Koenig, H. F. (2002). Building brand community. Journal of Marketing, 66(1), 38-54.

NDTV (2020). Over 50 Crore Indians Now Use Smartphones, 77 Per Cent On Internet:, Accessed date: 15 March 2020.

McMillan, S. J., Hwang, J. S., & Lee, G. (2003). Effects of structural and perceptual factors on attitudes toward the website. Journal of Advertising Research, 43(4), 400-409.

Mehta, R., Sharma, N. K., & Swami, S. (2013). The impact of perceived crowding on consumers' store patronage intentions: Role of optimal stimulation level and shopping motivation. Journal of Marketing Management, 29(7-8), 812-835.

Moneta, G. B., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). The effect of perceived challenges and skills on the quality of subjective experience. Journal of Personality, 64(2), 275-310.

Mollen, A., & Wilson, H. (2010). Engagement, telepresence and interactivity in online consumer experience: Reconciling scholastic and managerial perspectives. Journal of Business Research, 63(9-10), 919-925.

Müller-Stewens, J., Schlager, T., Häubl, G., & Herrmann, A. (2017). Gamified information presentation and consumer adoption of product innovations. Journal of Marketing, 81(2), 8-24.

Nakamura, J., & Csíkszentmihályi, M. (2002). The concept of flow. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology, 89–105. New York: Oxford University Press.

Oinas-Kukkonen, H. (2013). A foundation for the study of behavior change support systems. Personal and ubiquitous computing, 17(6), 1223-1235.

Osatuyi, B., & Qin, H. (2018). How vital is the role of affect on post-adoption behaviors? An examination of social commerce users. International Journal of Information Management, 40, 175-185.

Park, C. W., MacInnis, D. J., Priester, J., Eisingerich, A. B., & Iacobucci, D. (2010). Brand attachment and brand attitude strength: Conceptual and empirical differentiation of two critical brand equity drivers. Journal of Marketing, 74(6), 1-17.

Palan, K. M. (2001). Gender identity in consumer behavior research: A literature review and research agenda. Academy of Marketing Science Review, 10(2001), 1-31.

Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: a critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879.

Prahalad, C. K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2004). Co‐creation experiences: The next practice in value creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18(3), 5-14.

Procci, K., Singer, A. R., Levy, K. R., & Bowers, C. (2012). Measuring the flow experience of gamers: An evaluation of the DFS-2. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(6), 2306-2312.

Ranaweera, C., & Jayawardhena, C. (2014). Talk up or criticize? Customer responses to WOM about competitors during social interactions. Journal of Business Research, 67(12), 2645-2656.

Richard, M. O., & Chandra, R. (2005). A model of consumer web navigational behavior: conceptual development and application. Journal of Business Research, 58(8), 1019-1029.

Richard, M. O., Chebat, J. C., Yang, Z., & Putrevu, S. (2010). A proposed model of online consumer behavior: Assessing the role of gender. Journal of Business Research, 63(9-10), 926-934.

Robson, K., Plangger, K., Kietzmann, J. H., McCarthy, I., & Pitt, L. (2015). Is it all a game? Understanding the principles of gamification. Business Horizons, 58(4), 411-420.

Rodrigues, L. F., Oliveira, A., & Costa, C. J. (2016). Does ease-of-use contributes to the perception of enjoyment? A case of gamification in e-banking. Computers in Human Behavior, 61, 114-126.

Roth, S., Schneckenberg, D., & Tsai, C. W. (2015). The ludic drive as innovation driver: Introduction to the gamification of innovation. Creativity and Innovation Management, 24(2), 300-306.

Scheiner, C. W. (2015). The motivational fabric of gamified idea competitions: The evaluation of game mechanics from a longitudinal perspective. Creativity and Innovation Management, 24(2), 341-352.

Schouten, J. W., McAlexander, J. H., & Koenig, H. F. (2007). Transcendent customer experience and brand community. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 35(3), 357-368.

Shankar, V. (2016). Mobile marketing: The way forward. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 34(1-2).

Shankar, A., & Jebarajakirthy, C. (2019). The influence of e-banking service quality on customer loyalty. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 37(5), 1119-1142.

Shankar, A., Jebarajakirthy, C., & Ashaduzzaman, M. (2020). How do electronic word of mouth practices contribute to mobile banking adoption?. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 52, 101920.

Shernoff, D. J., Csikszentmihalyi, M., Schneider, B., & Shernoff, E. S. (2014). Student engagement in high school classrooms from the perspective of flow theory. In Applications of Flow in Human Development and Education (pp. 475-494). Springer, Dordrecht.

Skadberg, Y. X., & Kimmel, J. R. (2004). Visitors’ flow experience while browsing a Web site: its measurement, contributing factors and consequences. Computers in Human Behavior, 20(3), 403-422.

Storbacka, K., Brodie, R. J., Böhmann, T., Maglio, P. P., & Nenonen, S. (2016). Actor engagement as a microfoundation for value co-creation. Journal of Business Research, 69(8), 3008-3017.

Van Noort, G., Voorveld, H. A., & Van Reijmersdal, E. A. (2012). Interactivity in brand web sites: cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses explained by consumers' online flow experience. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26(4), 223-234.

Venkatesan, R. (2017). Executing on a customer engagement strategy. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45 (3), 289-293.

Werbach, K., & Hunter, D. (2012). For the win: How game thinking can revolutionize your business. Wharton Digital Press.

Yoo, B., & Donthu, N. (2001). Developing and validating a multidimensional consumer-based brand equity scale. Journal of Business Research, 52(1), 1-14.

Yoo, C. W., Sanders, G. L., & Cerveny, R. P. (2018). Exploring the influence of flow and psychological ownership on security education, training and awareness effectiveness and security compliance. Decision Support Systems, 108, 107-118.

Yoo, C. W., Kim, Y. J., & Sanders, G. L. (2015). The impact of interactivity of electronic word of mouth systems and E-Quality on decision support in the context of the e-marketplace. Information & Management, 52(4), 496-505.

Zhang, C., Phang, C. W., Wu, Q., & Luo, X. (2017). Nonlinear effects of social connections and interactions on individual goal attainment and spending: Evidences from online gaming markets. Journal of Marketing, 81(6), 132-155.

Zhang, K. Z., Lee, M. K., Cheung, C. M., & Chen, H. (2009). Understanding the role of gender in bloggers' switching behavior. Decision Support Systems, 47(4), 540-546.

Zurita Ortega, F., Castro Sánchez, M., Chacón Cuberos, R., Cachón Zagalaz, J., Cofré Bolados, C., Knox, E., & Muros, J. J. (2018). Analysis of the Psychometric Properties of Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire and Its Relationship to Physical Activity and Gender Using Structural Equation Modelling. Sustainability, 10(3), 632.




How to Cite

Sangroya, D., Yadav, R., & Joshi, Y. (2021). Does gamified interaction build a strong consumer-brand connection? A study of mobile applications. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 25.



Research on Information Systems Development