Innovation is probably one of the most frequently Googled words these days. Everybody talks about it, but innovation is sometimes overstated when it comes to the reality of how organizations approach the challenge of sustainable growth.
For the lottery industry, the subject of innovation is complex: Calculations show that no more than 5 percent of worldwide lottery sales in the past 36 months were the result of brand-new product launches. By comparison, in industries that are under continual consumer pressure to innovate, brand-new product launches are in the range of 25 percent, and a few of them even reach 70 percent.
Why is the norm so different for lotteries? The lottery audience likes the idea of innovation in principle, but can be more cautious when it comes to the practice. On one hand, the overall portfolio of games is very well crafted, and this is a strength, as the industry continues to be solid and profitable. On the other hand, in order to grow and be relevant to tomorrow’s consumer, lotteries need new game offerings to complement the familiar, core favorites.
A critical factor in innovation is the ability to execute the new ideas to generate growth. IGT is dedicated to producing and sharing innovations to create sustainable, impactful outcomes for customers. In 2016, we created FutureGame™, a proprietary, powerful, and balanced approach to new lottery game development, to generate a pipeline of working ideas and accelerate deliverable innovation. FutureGame is an extremely disciplined sequence of laboratory and market-oriented phases, implemented by a dedicated team of professionals whose goal is to deliver the right product to the right customer, in a timely manner, and measure the results.
The FutureGame process comprises two integrated workflows, designed to simultaneously streamline and further exploit the existing portfolio, and to introduce new, high-performing games.
The first step in generating new games is ideation: Twice a year, after reviewing diagnostics and consumer trend analyses, a group of IGT thought leaders working in different regions around the world participate in brainstorming sessions to generate and sketch hundreds of potential concepts.
The best of these ideas are then funneled through role-playing exercises to assess each game concept from four viewpoints: consumer, retailer, marketing executive, and game designer. Each concept is also evaluated using IGT’s proprietary methodology and generates a Lab Score, grading the idea for its ultimate potential and viability.
But even a game with a high Lab Score needs to meet the challenges of the real world. As a third step, we test the game, again with a proprietary methodology, by inviting a robust sample of lottery consumers from the U.S. and several other key countries to try the game and also share their thoughts and emotions about it in real time. Only when a game passes this test do we know that it can be taken forward.
Finally, our new, high-performing games are introduced to customers within a personalized workshop setting, structured to identify those that fit with the specific jurisdiction’s plans, needs, and expectations. Here, we discuss priorities and customization options, identify the final in-market research pattern, and ultimately deliver a tailor-made solution along with a tactical roadmap for implementation.
The first of the new FutureGame products are coming to market later this year, with others following closely behind. We invite you to reach out to your Account Development Manager to learn more.