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Internal Branding: Simulate to Emulate

Internal brand communication is critically important in ensuring excellence in brand delivery. It provides the ultimate course for guiding employee decisions and actions. It is particularly important in customer service environments, whether it is pre-sales, sales, or post-sales. Singapore Airlines is well known for its customer service and that service embodies the core of the experience of flying on Singapore Airlines and its service excellence is touted in its advertising. The company takes great care to ensure the consistency of its customer experience and requires extensive ongoing training for its flight staff and crew.

In this age of computers one method to activate internal branding is to utilize computer games as a training tool. The mention of computer games brings to mind titles like Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and Civilization all of which are hardly suited for brand training. However there is another genre of games that provide an example of how games are suited towards training. One example is Diner Dash 2. Diner Dash 2 is a game that has been played more than 100 million times and is in the top 20 on MSN games.

In Diner Dash the player is working in a restaurant and “takes on her character as she races to seat customers, take their orders, serve food, bus up the tables and, of course, pick up the check. The player earns points for getting the job done and is rewarded by getting to upgrade the restaurant, like hiring a mime to entertain customers.” With a little imagination you could see how a game like this could be modified for use in training people at Starbucks, Holiday Inn, McDonalds, and the like.

Computer games can simulate real life events with the benefit of eliminating the risks of on-the-job training where repercussions can involve customer defections. Simulations have value and that is exactly why the military uses battle games and the police use training games. Its time leading service brands embrace games as a supplemental tool to ensure quality in brand delivery. Even a firm, like Singapore Airlines, which already has an extensive brand training program, could make use of computer simulations to help maintain its leadership in brand delivery.

Web Link:
Diner Dash at Yahoo Games

Source:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/27/BUGATHTT051.DTL

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