How do you work on your employer’s brand through play?

Play to learn. This is the basis of teaching in the early years of school. It is also a principle serious games, literally “serious games” in French. These games aimed at learning and raising awareness have made their scale in France for the past 10 years. and grow up. In France, the serious gaming market is estimated at €200 million, and should, worldwide, reach more than $25.5 billion by 2026, according to Mordor Intelligence. What are the opportunities for brands? Laurent Auneau, president and founder of Succubus, a company that was born in 2002 and has been in the serious game since 2007, sees three main uses for this “tool” in 2022: “Training, raising awareness – to make people understand, rather than learning – and promoting the company.”

From a human resource perspective, Serious game will be used on Work on your employer brand (brand image issues related to team management and recruitment), to unite employees or, even, to raise awareness internally on key corporate themes such as managerial resilience, social and environmental responsibility (CSR) and data management, in particular. How ? By making serious content more engaging, a serious game, if well designed, “It allows you to simulate reality…so that the player perceives it without realizing it”With a serious intention, Arnaud Barrès, associate director of Game Partners, a company that designs and publishes board games, especially board games, explains.

Serious game qualities, for the expert, are undeniable: “the game he is an experience. It focuses the learner’s attention and generates feelings thanks to the collaborative and interactive dimension. ” Arnaud Paris isn’t the only one who thinks the power of play is infinite, whether it’s serious or not: according to a study cited by Forrester in its report. Creating better teams by playing video games at work (Creating better teams by playing video games at work), in December 2021, the game “Geocaching Team Treasure Hunt” will increase employee productivity by 20% compared to the traditional team building workshop.

Learn the rules of the game

You still need to know the rules of the game. “Many leaders or managers believe that a serious game is just a way to get the meeting moving or doing team building.sorry for Arnaud Paris. But this is only one aspect of the serious game, the principle of which is primarily to learn something while having fun. If it’s just an excuse, you can also use consumer games! ” Game Partners was also born in 2018 in response to a note “Companies build serious games with cliched game mechanicsassociate director, Goose game, 7 families game or petty chase. Very basic games Although the world of board games is getting creative. 500 new games are released every year with high-quality design and super-intelligent game mechanics.”

For Storengy, a subsidiary of Engie, Game Partners has created two completely different, but modern and tailored games: “Storenplay,” a board game for learning how natural gas storage works and being able to talk about it internally, or externally during employment. And the “CSR Objective” to raise awareness and train employees on CSR.

Laurent Auneau also sees serious gaming as not always up to its mission: “A serious game should convey a message, like the history and values ​​of a brand, for example.” but if In the United States, serious brand promotion games, ‘advertising games’ (advertising games, editor’s note), Successfully present for 20 years, in France advertising games often just place the product, forgetting to convey a message. ” About the president and founder of the French company Succubus, despite its delay in designing serious games “Really effective”, It has the distinction of being the most determined country: “This is due to the “Serious game and web 2.0” call for projects launched by Nathalie in 2009 Kosciusko Moreze (Then Secretary of State for Digital and Future Development, Editor’s Note). 20 million euros are put on the table, 5 million of which are for serious games. This has led to the creation of countless creative projects and studios.”

to retreat…

If there are many serious games, especially about an employer brand, wouldn’t it also be because their performance in terms of engagement is incomparable with other methods of communication – a website, for example? “The escape game format works very well with the average time each user spends in this type of serious game 20-25 minutes”, notes Laurent Ono. For Saint-Gobain, which Succubus supports in the implementation of braina digital escape game, the time taken is an incredible 33 minutes 45 seconds.

This serious game has been rewarded in Marketing Gaming & eSport Awards organized by marketing The Gold Award, Serious Games category, is a one-of-a-kind example of an employer brand. Designed to attract and hire young graduates, brain It offers an immersive and fun experience to discover the different business worlds of Saint-Gobain, a French group specializing in the production, processing and distribution of materials. It leads the user on a quest to discover the company’s identity and innovations, but also the brand’s values ​​and commitments. The visit begins at a Research and Development (R&D) center where the player encounters a faulty AI that he must fix as quickly as possible by exploring a point of sale, 4.0 factory, R&D lab, and answering puzzles. The escape game is available in seven languages ​​(English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Romanian and Portuguese) – thus the format can be used internationally thanks to the back office set up by Succubus.

“Brain is designed for recruiting. But Saint-Gobain realizes that this serious game also works very well internally to include newcomers in different countries around the world. The tool is now used for both external communications than for internal communications.”Comments by Laurent Ono. The group pulls the string of the employer’s brand to the end and moves from words about its values ​​… to deeds: Saint-Gobain thus undertakes to pay €10,000 to a selected union, when the threshold of the games won is reached.

…and play the game

In practice, setting up a serious game follows the same rules as a communication campaign: you need to think about your end goal and your budget. Then charge their provider to find the best type of game to access. Action game? Escape room? A simulation game (gesture or speech)? board game?

BNP Paribas Asset Management has chosen a “social game”. The Asset Management division of BNP Paribas Group wanted to educate its 3,000 employees (in 36 countries) for data management. data quality? Data protection? data value? It is not easy to understand everything about data management and data exploitation. Then the brand and its agency Brainsonic imagined Datatis, a serious immersive game in which employees turn into adventurers: Indata Jones and Indata Jane. Their mission: to go to “Datazonia” to find Datatis, “the city where data flows naturally”. Four game universes are created – corresponding to the four stages of data comprehension. Initially, several teasers were placed to communicate with employees about the existence of the game: video posts on the intranet, posters, electronic correspondence and the event platform, in particular. A basic acquisition strategy, but it’s still practiced very little by brands. At the time of launch, a dedicated email was sent out inviting employees to dive into the adventure (and they could be accompanied by a tutorial when they first contacted). During the game, users deepened their knowledge of the data – an algorithm prompted questions based on their answers – while earning points. The lovable experience lasted two months and will be the theme of the second season in a new environment – a labyrinth. Results: The total number of active sessions in the game was 350 sessions per week. But, also, commitment is three times more than that of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s goals and 10 times greater than that estimated before the campaign.

Of course, a serious game, whether digital or physical, is more expensive than designing a branded web page for an employer. No doubt, then, to think about the serious game of an unsustainable project. On the other hand, because it takes tens of thousands of euros (about 20,000 euros for a custom-made board game designed by Game Partners, for example) to a hundred thousand euros for a serious digital game. On the other hand, because it takes time to design it: 4-12 months for a serious board game at Game Partners and 3-12 months for a serious digital game created by Succubus, with design, development and post-production in mind. No time to waste, then. Shall we press start?

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