GameStorm solved problems

Did you know our GameStorm method solves problems? And not only that – it generates actionable ideas that lead to great achievements, executed by the very same professionals that worked on them! How much more engagement do you need than moving people in directions they feel is the right way? We have been experiencing great results since the introduction of the GameStorm in 2011. And the cool part is, we can anonymously share some great ideas on some generic challenges that clients (organizations) might face.

Take employee involvement and training in retail for instance. One of our retail clients described their objective in 2014 as follows: “Implement effective hr tactics in order to have flexible use of our employees”. The challenges that retailers face and various teams defined during the GameStorm session where (amongst others):

  1. Coordination of training during the day time work
  2. Helping other employees to level up their game
  3. Finding the right people for the right positions you have to fill

Now these challenges are not unique. As a matter a fact, we faced the same challenges when I used to work as a Channel Marketing Manager for Diesel. But these days, these challenges have a much bigger impact on your business playground and – in the end – your P&L than in 2010. It’s do or die these days…

(Destructive) Behavior that was chosen and proven to keep these challenges alive are (amongst others):

  • No pep talks [on challenge 1]
  • No relationship with the team mates [on challenge 1]
  • Not taking time to develop people, in other words: rushing the training [on challenge 1]

Possibly due to the digital era we live in, even in a store, people do not build up a relation anymore (point 2), neither do they do motivational speeches or ‘pep-talks’ to inspire and stimulate each other. Especially in difficult times it can be highly effective to discuss the elephant in the room, give it a name and cut it in pieces (not literally of course). Because not talking about the elephant in the room will not scare it away – acting up will! And as for the third action: not taking time to develop people, I have a brilliant comment I once read. The CFO says: “What if we develop our employees and they leave our company…?” CEO says: “What if we don’t develop them and they will stay working in our organization?!” If you want to become (or remain) a game changer on your playground these days you have to continuously invest in your human capital. If you don’t you have already lost the battle from online webshops like Ali Baba, Amazon and others. But fortunately for us, the GameStorm also let’s you look on the positive side, defining constructive behavior to overcome the chosen challenges.

Ways to overcome this challenge (Coordination of training during day time work), that were chosen during the GameStorm session were:

  • Use active feedback to improve your training every session over and over again
  • Let your experts (in-store) lead training sessions 1 on 1
  • Write don a game plan for the day or week, within to do’s: who gets his training at what time on which priorities

I cannot stress it enough and I have done that in my most recent book, but there is only 1 way (really just one), to improve over and over again and it is: feedback. The way players learn in games is thanks to feedback. Take the game Pac-Man. You are a yellow guy, eating cookies in a maze. The more cookies you eat, the more points you get (feedback) and the cookies disappear (feedback). If you eat a ‘special’ cooky (inspired by the Dutch I presume), recognizable because of the flickering (feedback), you can eat the ghosts that hunt you. Their colour changes (feedback) as soon as you eat a special cooky. If you kill a ghost, they change into flickering eyes and you see a score (200, 400, 800, 1600 – all feedback)… Need I continue to explain how important feedback is in games? The same goes for real-life… Humans can only improve by giving feedback, but we are really bad at giving motivational feedback. This is why we developed a game for that in 2016 for a big red mobile phone carrier (project to be disclosed soon). What I learned about giving feedback is: be authentic, be critically honest and always end positive with a plan of actions to be taken. For all I care: use the GameStorm structure! In a (really tiny) nutshell: What can we agree upon that you will do in the future, what did you do that did not work (in my opinion), what are you planning on improving in the future (or which suggestions do I have for you), so we can progress…?

A lot of retail organizations are afraid to ‘waste time’ on training, but the people in your store are the only – and I repeat the only – relevant discriminating factor for consumers these days that can persuade us into buying things – apart from great design (which plays with our sub-conscious). It is the people in your store that can make a difference. Not the product, not the price, not the place (location, location, location = web these days – wake up!), nor your promotional (mostly bull shit – and we recognize it) ad-campaign…
It is people and their actions that influence me in buying or leaving. And actually I strongly believe you cannot sell products to people, you have to let people decide to buy…

So don’t book a ticket to our GameStorm Trooper Training, we are not selling this product, you can only buy into it… 😉 More information can be found here should you be interested…

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Posted in Bart Hufen, BrandNewGame, GameStorm, Gaming research, Retail | No Comments »

Neurensics proves positive effects of gamification on our brain

Thanks to Neurensics the positive effect of gamification on our brain has been scientifically proven.

By Menno Gottmer – Player 2 @BrandNewGame

Neurensics is a neuromarketing research and consulting firm based in Holland, that has direct access to high-end neuroimaging techniques. Using these techniques Neurensics can measure the brain activity of potential customers, and subsequently determine the objective motives of these customers. As a result, Neurensics can provide their clients with unique insights into what customers are actually experiencing in their brains when dealing with certain images, products, advertisements, logos and games.

Neurensic’s research has been especially fruitful for KLM, the Royal Dutch Airlines. Early 2012, KLM developed a strategy with the qualitative objective to connect KLM to holiday spirit, and the quantitative objective to acquire people’s email addresses and their preferred holiday destinations. This was a necessary strategy, because KLM was still too often seen as expensive and merely for business, and therefore not top of mind at many holidaymakers. To reach this objective, KLM’s advertising agency developed a thematic campaign with the theme “To what new memory can we bring you?”, for which they created a television commercial.

Besides this campaign, the Crossmedia Division of the Telegraaf Media Group developed an activation campaign. The core of this activation campaign was the “KLM Vakantiespel”, an online revamped version of the well-known Memory card game. Before players could start playing the “KLM Vakantiespel”, they had to upload their portrait photo. The game then processed these photos in various vacation scenario images. As a result, in these images, you as a player could see yourself in a not yet enjoyed holiday in the Middle East, Africa, or any other distant KLM destination. These images were your ‘new memories’, as it were. For each found image match, you received a stamp in your virtual passport with the destination depicted on those matching images. After you finished the game you were asked to choose your preferable holiday destination from all the received stamps. After this, you immediately heard if you won any prices. Every day players could win two tickets to a ‘new memory’. In total, the “KLM Vakantiespel” was played more than 67,000 times, and more than 31,000 players left their email addresses and preferred holiday destinations behind.

Using the neuroimaging techniques of Neurensics, both the thematic campaign and the activation campaign were studied for their effects on the consumer’s brain. The thematic campaign’s television commercial scored positive in the brain on dimensions that are important for buying behaviour. However, Neurensics’ results also showed that the sought connection between KLM and holiday spirit was not made, something the activation campaign’s “KLM Vakantiespel” díd achieve. Neurensics’ objective neurological research showed that the game brought its players in the holiday spirit and also made the KLM brand significantly more relevant to the players. These are interesting results, not only because for the first time the relationship between gamification and brain activity has been demonstrated, but also because previous neurological research already showed that future buying behaviour and self-relevance are strongly interconnected. In short, Neurensics’ research has shown for the first time that keeping people busy with a brand via a game has great value to advertisers.

Unfortunately, many famous brands still turn towards traditional one-way advertising methods, such as television and radio commercials. Although gamification and serious games are becoming increasingly more used for various purposes by various companies, they are still not used that much for brand related purposes. While working at BrandNewGame, I learned that among many of the biggest brands there is still a largely negative connotation towards gaming in general. It would be wise for them to stop burying their heads in the sand, and look at the scientific facts that research firms such as Neurensics provide.

 

Posted in advergame, Advertising, gamevertising, Gamification, Gaming research | No Comments »

BrandNewGame – Project overview in less than 5 minutes

 

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Mobile Casual Gaming Report

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Mobile Gaming Report – Thanks to Distimo

>Our friends at Distimo, a research company in Utrecht – The Netherlands, just released a 27 pages report about the mobile gaming market. These slides are the highlights, in my opinion. 




The major findings are:

• Games are still the most popular downloads for Phones, whether paid or free 
• The average selling price of games declined by 28% over the last year, while the revenue generated by the most successful freemium games increased tenfold during this period in the Apple App Store for iPhone.
• The presence of virtual currencies within games is one of the main reasons behind the popularity and monetization success of in-app purchases. 35% of the 300 most popular free games in June use some sort of virtual currencies to monetize in the Apple App Store for iPhone.
• Looking at the 300 most popular paid for applications, 72% of downloads are
generated by games while the remaining 28% of downloads are generated by
applications other than games in the Apple App Store for iPhone.
• The total revenue generated by top grossing games increased by 79% year-on-year in the Apple App Store for iPhone.
• A small number of publishers dominate total game downloads: ten publishers
account for more than half of all downloads among the 300 most popular paid
games in the Apple App Store for iPhone.
• Notwithstanding the popularity of games, the growth rate of the number of
applications other than games is higher than the growth rate of the number of
games in most stores. The number of games has increased faster than other apps only in the Apple App Store for iPhone, the Apple App Store for iPad and GetJar, but the growth rate for games in other stores is lower than for other applications.




It’s interesting to see that more and more games (and apps) are using the freemium model and use ‘micro-transactions / ingame-transactions’ (as described in my book ‘A Brand New Playground‘) to make money. It’s a trend that is apparently evident if you look at the data. 


For more mobile research and consultancy, please visit Distimo’s website: http://www.distimo.com

Posted in Gaming research, Mobile | No Comments »

German Gaming Market grows 6% to 4,6 billion euros!

>Thanks to Peter Warman from Newzoo, an update on the German Market in just 1 infographic, for all my American and English readers. 😉 The US market declined somewhat last year (3%) as did the UK Market (1%).

Thanks for the additional information to Gamasutra!

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A Realtime overview of Hardware Platform Sales thanks to VGChartz.com

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The guys over at VGChartz are awesome, they have provided me with a realtime updated overview of hardware sales statistics. Check it out below and save the link to your website, blog or agenda.

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Advergaming General Survey Results

>A presentation how effective advergames can be…

Posted in advergame, Gaming research, Presentation | 1 Comment »

Video Gaming Trends

>Interesting trends in the US market

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Gaming Research

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Please share your opinion on this topic on the statements below (please ad your date of birth):

Statement 1. Games can be used as a marketing tool
Statement 2. Games can be used to test products virtually in games, like done with Renault Megane and Need For Speed

Statement 3. Promotional advertising in games is no problem as long as it is either relevant for me as consumer or done in an appropriate manner (fitting the game and surrounding)
Statement 4. I would download free games and free mods even if I know they are produced by brands (like Adidas, Axe, Diesel, Sony, etc.)
Statement 5. I would promote good sponsored games or advergames to friends and send emails about it to them.

Posted in Gaming research | 3 Comments »