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Game on: Early gamification adopters score big

BY Michael Johnsen

Gamification. What is it? And what does it mean to your business?

It’s a trend that signifies the addition of gaming elements (e.g., leveling up, the awarding of badges) to nongaming situations, such as shopping, health and wellness or training. And although still somewhat in its infancy, early adopters are leveraging game-based technologies to drive trips to retail, grow share, build brands, and recruit and train the next generation of business leaders.

The opportunity for the retailer or CPG company can be significant, whether you’re stimulating more engaged consumers or improving employee performance. Demographically, gaming appears to appeal to younger generations more than older, but not by much. "Millennials do all kinds of stuff that is already gamified," noted Karl Kapp, instructional technology professor at Bloomsburg University and author of "The Gamification of Learning and Instruction." "It doesn’t mean baby boomers don’t like it or won’t engage it, it just means they’re not as familiar with [the concept]."

But the prevalence and utility of gaming programs is expected to expand in the coming years as more millennials and younger generations begin joining the work force. "I see gamification as a great way [for millennials] to develop their personal brand within an organization," said Ryan Jenkins, author of "The GenEdge: Leverage Millennials with a Next Generation Mindset," "If companies start putting in place gamification to where it’s … part of a way to expand on certain skills," that could be really beneficial for young executives, Jenkins suggested. Milllennials will have the opportunity to get really sharp in a certain aspect of their job, and they’d be able to show that as part of a digital resume. "They could say, ‘I have 12 badges, [and] that makes me an expert in contract negotiations,’" he said.

But what is gamification, exactly? It’s more than awarding points, as you find in many linear loyalty programs (i.e., earn points and cash in for rewards). Gamification is more dynamic. It requires a certain amount of commitment from the end user as they achieve greater levels or earn more badges. And there is a social aspect, often in the form of a leader board where "gamers" can check their progress against others.

DSN recently talked to the experts along two tracks of gamification — consumer engagement on one side, employee education and training on the other. Following are some emerging best practices.

10 startling stats:

  1. In the United States alone, there are 183 million active gamers. 
  2. Active computer or video gamers play 13 hours a week on average.
  3. Collectively, the planet is now spending more than 3 billion hours a week gaming. 
  4. 69% of all heads of household play computer and video games.
  5. 97% of youth play computer and video games.
  6. 40% of all gamers are women.
  7. 1-out-of-4 gamers is older than 50 years.
  8. The average game player is 35 years old and has been playing for 12 years.
  9. Most gamers expect to continue playing games for the rest of their lives.
  10. 61% of surveyed CEOs, CFOs and other senior executives say they take daily game breaks at work.

Source: "Reality is Broken" by Jane McGonigal

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Influences on allergy, cold and flu remedies

BY DSN STAFF

According to an August 2013 poll of 500 AccentHealth viewers, 95% indicate that they or someone in their household has suffered from cold, flu or allergies in the past 12 months. The overwhelming majority of those sufferers sought treatment of the ailment or its symptoms (99%) — mainly in the form of over-the-counter therapies (91%).

While product consideration at the shelf level remains a driving force behind purchase decisions, with 34% of respondents indicating that in-store browsing influences their purchase of OTCs, 40% of respondents specifically indicate that OTCs purchased to treat cold, flu and allergy in the prior 12 months were the result of a doctor or other practitioner (e,g., NP/PA) recommendation. This may explain why respondents similarly cite pharmacists and physicians as being their primary sources of information on OTC medications in the category.

In addition to recommendations from healthcare professionals, brand characteristics play an important role in treatment choice. Drivers when purchasing OTC remedies for cold, flu and allergy included onset of action, product cost and ease of use.

When it comes to where to shop, drug stores emerge as the most popular destination for cold, flu and allergy remedies among all respondents surveyed. Poll findings differ, however, among respondents in households with children — where mass merchandisers are used equally with drug stores. While 7-in-10 respondents typically purchase category OTCs at drug stores, 9-in-10 indicate they are likely to purchase cold, flu and allergy medications there in the future.

If you could ask more than 6,500 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to reder@lf.com.

For more Patient Views insights, click here.

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Brenton Saunders tapped as new president, CEO of Forest Labs

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The former CEO of Bausch + Lomb has been appointed president and CEO of Forest Labs, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Forest announced that it had hired Brenton Saunders to head the company, effective Oct. 1. Saunders will replace Howard Solomon, who has served as a director of Forest since August 2011. Saunders is currently chairman of the board’s compensation committee and a member of its compliance committee and will step down from those roles once assuming the new position. Solomon will remain as non-executive chairman of the board through the company’s 2014 annual meeting of stockholders, when Saunders will become the new chairman.

"Forest is an outstanding company with outstanding people, products and prospects," Saunders said. "It is an honor to be asked to take over the role as CEO and president, and I look forward to getting started immediately."

Saunders served as Bausch + Lomb’s CEO from 2010 through last month. Before that, he served in several leadership positions at Schering-Plough Corp., from 2003 until 2009, when Merck acquired the company.

 

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