We used the power of story to gamify theproduct launch training experience.

The project story


Ventana Medical Systems, a member of the Roche Group, partnered with BLP to design a gamified blended learning curriculum for the launch of its innovative VENTANA HE 600 system. The goal of the training was for sales reps and accounts managers to be able to effectively uncover unmet needs, then to convey the value proposition of the product to meet those unmet needs through the use of powerful and compelling stories. The training curriculum has driven strong business results and has set a new organizational standard for product launch training at Ventana.

Ventana Medical Systems (VENTANA)

Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. is a global leader in tissue diagnostics. The company develops, manufactures, and markets instrument reagent systems that automate tissue and slide staining in anatomic pathology laboratories. These products assist in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and infectious diseases.

Part of the Roche Diagnostics Division, Ventana is a member of the Roche Group.

Develop and deliver a “train the trainer” commercial education program to the affiliates’ marketing and product managers and give them the tools to train the rest of their respective sales teams. Ventana Medical Systems wanted a truly turnkey, best in class commercial education program.

To design the launch training, BLP used an interactive design meeting approach to efficiently gather perspectives and knowledge from all necessary stakeholders over a two-day period. Throughout development, agile learning design was used to provide rapid prototypes and straw models of key ideas.

The resulting curriculum is both gamified as a whole and contains numerous competitive and collaborative games.

  • The curriculum was structured as a “Quest” and learners go on a Hero’s Journey.
  • Four pre-work modules introduce product features, benefits, customer needs, and value statements.
  • Knowledge Guru was used to engage participants, reinforce knowledge and assess knowledge transfer prior to the launch events.
  • In-person  launch event continued the Quest theme with the meeting agenda displayed within a map on the wall. Participants played games, role-played and completed activities in their participant guides.
  • On the final day of training, account managers learned how the training was designed and received the materials so they could train sales reps in their home countries.
  • All launch materials were designed so that the same curriculum could be translated and used for three global launch events.

The training curriculum helped support a successful launch… and it has set a new organizational standard for product launch training at Ventana.

“The novel approach, gamification, and interactivity led to a high level of engagement. The launch meetings kept the learners in a very active mode. The level of engagement and interaction of the learners translated into higher retention. The learner was always on the spot by being an active participant in a card game, a role play, or story creation and delivery.”

— Vince Wong, former Senior International Business Leader at Ventana and current Vice President of Strategy and Communications at Roche Diagnostics

  • The VENTANA HE 600 system Product Launch Curriculum won a 2016 LTEN Excellence Award in the “Innovation” category.
  • The curriculum also won a 2016 Brandon Hall award for “Best Use of Blended Learning”

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