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…

Posted in Bart Hufen, BrandNewGame, GameStorm, Gaming research, Retail | 1 Comment »

Progress Loop presentation in Sarajevo

In 2015 I was invited to speak during Bosnia Agile Day in Sarajevo. It was a wonderful experience and I got to test the vision I have on using ‘game thinking’ in a company-wide perspective. The model in my new book ‘Playing on the job’ (due in 2017) is called the Progress-Loop and will be explained in the presentation below. Enjoy and share it on Twitter #gamification. If you have any questions about it, send me a tweet @barthufen

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BrandNewGame on Gamification


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Wishing not ALL of your dreams come true in 2011!


Since life can be largely compared to games or the other way around I hope that you will not achieve all your goals. Purpose is the most important thing in life. It is what keeps you going and keeps you developing yourself into a better (or worse) person. It helps you to continuously aim higher and get closer to achieving whatever you wish to achieve.

Therefore I hope not all your dreams come true in 2011, because you always need something to wish for. But keep setting goals and keep on dreaming, because hope and purpose is what helps you to reach the next level!

Thank you very much for following me in 2010 and I hope to keep on inspiring you in 2011 with new cases and projects I have been involved in. My next goal is to have my book translated into English and to undertake some great projects with some really nice clients.

Furthermore I am thinking about an iPad application containing all the information you need on gaming and branding. Let me know if you think that’s a good idea!

For now – be nice to each other and remain healthy!

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400 monthly unique visitors!


I know this weblog is not yet the next but I am very proud to announce that I currently have 400 unique monthly visitors according to Google Analytics with a refuge-percentage of only 10%
This means that people that come to my weblog are actually reading the content and got there because they wanted to (instead of getting there by accident).

So a BIG THANK YOU to all my 4.800 readers in the past year.

I hope my postings have been inspiring, helpful and fun.

Please join my group on Linkedin (called BrandNewGame) as well, if you with to receive weekly automated updates.

If you want to post articles yourself send me an email at

Let me know!

PS The girl in the shirt is NOT me. You can buy the T-Shirt at 

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Working hard at picnic today!


Check our humble booth 😉

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Presenting at SRM tonight! I appear to be a GURU?!


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New Book: A Brand New Playground – Searching for CASES!


Hi All!

I just finished the Dutch version of my book ‘Laat met je merk spelen‘ (A Brand New Playground) and would like to start with the international (English) version soon.
For this issue, I am looking for international cases of how games are being used as a marketing tool to achieve goals that are related to Product, Price, Personnel (staff), Place (virtual product distribution through games) or Promotion.

Please help me find them!

Think of global brands like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Diesel, BMW, etc.

Much appreciated if you can send me links or full cases!

Send an email to (subject: Cases for Brand New Playground)


Posted in Bart Hufen, Brand New Playground, BrandNewGame, Laat met je merk spelen | No Comments »

Brand New Game Digital Interactive Branding

>This is a brilliant way of looking at new media. Forget all you knew about Media and check out this presentation about Digital Interactive Branding!

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Social Media redefined and structured!


Finally a comprehensible layout of all digital interactive media. Nowadays it’s hard to know what to do on the web.
If you are interested in Digital Interactive Branding check out this pdf posted by BrandNewGame

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