OUR WORK

We are extremely proud of our work because we create positive change—for the employees who become better at their jobs and enhance their careers, for the competiveness of the companies we work for, and for the individuals like you, who choose to engage us as their vendor-partner.

We are also proud of the trust we earn from our world-class clients. Part of that trust is based on confidentiality, which we respect, and so on our site we cannot and do not showcase many projects.

However, we’ve been working very hard for over 10 years, produced many hundreds of courses of all flavors, and chances are we have wrestled and solved similar challenges to those you face. When we connect in person we are quite confident we can dazzle you with an array of case studies that will demonstrate that we deliver uniquely effective solutions.

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Responding to a Crisis in a Safe Environment

All Aboard! New Hire Tasks Get Moving and Go Green

Challenge: Our client’s new employees need to get set up and organized with administrative systems and procedures quickly to effectively perform in their roles. Previously designed as a classroom event, learners were asked to complete and check off these seemingly rote and tedious tasks from their list. But they needed more motivation to complete the tasks in the time allotted, and there had to be a better way to kick off a new dynamic relationship with their new employer. Our client needed a partner to present these tasks in a new way through gamification.

Solution: Did someone say gamification? It’s a challenge we love. Brew up the coffee and get ready for late nights of creative brainstorming! First, we put learners in a colorful subway environment, with fun scenes and animation to pique their interest. Taking every opportunity to reinforce the importance of their start-up activities, we also designed goals to motivate the learners to complete them. The subway map interface organized the tasks, and quizzes ensured that the skill was gained. Rewards encouraged learners to focus on the task and complete it correctly, which resulted in higher points. To build confidence, we had learners select a coach who supports and guides them through the game. And to increase motivation, we set up the challenge of completing all of the subway stops, and gave them recognition for their hard work. At the end of the game, we let the learners use their points to build a “green” city, which they can share with fellow learners, reflecting our client’s commitment to sustainability. And, the new hires felt good about their newly chosen employer and their future prospects!

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All Aboard! New Hire Tasks Get Moving and Go Green

Responding to a Crisis in a Safe Environment

Challenge: Designated crisis responders assist in keeping employees safe during emergencies in our client’s many locations. A diverse, professional, and geographically-dispersed audience, they previously learned about their role through virtual classroom training, but the format lacked opportunities for discovery and practice. Our client needed an interactive, self-paced solution that offers a consistent and repeatable way to effectively learn these critical skills.

Solution: Providing a safe place to practice new skills is one of e-learning’s best features, and for this course, we knew that place had to be as realistic as possible. Our talented multimedia design team includes artists with a wide range of skills — 3D, illustration, video — who make our clients' and our IDs’ visions come to life. The e-learning course pulls learners into a virtual, 3D replica of an office floor, blending teaching with simulated emergency responses. Activities are designed in the first-person point of view. The learner must navigate the floor plan, just as they would during an emergency, and respond to real-life scenarios. An avatar/coach provides guidance to boost confidence, while discovery is used to increase problem-solving skills. With solid instructional design and an innovative visual approach, the course was a huge hit with our client and their learners. Welcome to the future of training!

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Engaging Large Audiences with an Award-Winning Pub Trivia Game

Engaging Large Audiences with an Award-Winning Pub Trivia Game

Challenge: Our client's new-hire on-boarding program begins with three weeks of intensive seminars, often encompassing 10- to 12-hour days. At the end, large groups of more than 200 employees gather to wrap up the learning experience. How do you keep these learners engaged, review and reinforce what they've learned, and provide opportunities for networking and team building?

Solution: Like many situations where our clients come to us seeking a highly engaging game solution, we knew the objectives, but started with a blank slate. We love these creative moments. Fortunately we have a huge library of pre-existing software and a talented team of programmers ready to bring to life anything our creative and instructional designers conjure. After rounds of brainstorming with our client, we chose to leverage the concept of the pub trivia game. We developed a customized game that has learners use their knowledge to help their team compete for first place. The high-energy format appeals to the young audience, and reinforces the concepts learned and the value of team-based problem-solving. A 2012 Brandon Hall Gold Award winner in the Games category, our pub trivia game transformed our client's seminar by making learning fun! We built the game to be easily modifiable, and our client continues to repurpose the game for new audiences. Go ROI!

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Minimizing Risk with Scenario-Based Safety Training

Minimizing Risk with Scenario-Based Safety Training

Challenge: FM Global, a comprehensive global commercial and industrial property insurance provider, recommended that its client, Weyerhauser, minimize risk in the thermal heat oil process in its mills. Together they needed a partner to develop a strategy for teaching operators about hazards, risks, and the importance of testing.

Solution: As a vendor-partner developing custom training solutions, we are often exposed to highly specific and technical subject matter. Our strength is providing the right team, who can quickly come up to speed on the content, along with our depth of experience in best practices for adult learning. In this case, our learning strategy focused on providing system operators a safe environment to experience risks and hazards, and to practice how to respond appropriately. Visually we place them in a simulated work environment, including 3D renderings of large, complex pumps and heaters, to prepare them to follow the same steps back on the job. It’s great to know our work can help minimize risk!

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Maximizing On-the-Floor Time for Retail Sales Associates with Nano-Learning

Maximizing On-the-Floor Time for Retail Sales Associates with Nano-Learning

Challenge: Every retail operation faces a challenge in training new associates: You need to get them up to speed on your organization, your products, and your service philosophy, but you also want to get them on the floor as soon and as much as possible. At Petco, sales associates typically spend some of their first 16 weeks off the sales floor, taking training; traditionally, each course takes anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. The specific challenge set forth before SweetRush was reducing training seat time for sales associates.

Solution: We recognized the need to have shorter, but more impactful, trainings that resonate with Petco’s young sales force (the average age is 18–21). In this situation, brief trainings create the highest retention and shortest learning curve, and help the associate get back on the sales floor— greeting pet parents, understanding their needs, educating them on products and services, suggesting the right solutions, and thanking them for their loyalty to Petco. With that in mind, we strategized an approach of developing “nano-learnings”: one- to eight-minute, easily digestible segments that get to the heart of what learners need to know, often available for mobile delivery. These “bite-sized” modules can be strung together to form a unit of a subject matter, and increase ROI because they can be re-used for performance support. By incorporating a 3D floor plan, avatars, and interactivity, the nano-learning courses hit the mark for this Millennial audience.

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Talent Management: Delivering a Motivational Message to Busy Consultants

Talent Management: Delivering a Motivational Message to Busy Consultants

Challenge: Professional consultants are busy, driven, and focused. Attempting to capture their attention with an emotional message is a real creative challenge. In today’s competitive market, however, ensuring that professionals feel connected, valued, and secure is an essential part of talent management. Our client was aiming for the highest bar: to inspire, engage, and motivate its team by instilling in their hearts the defining attributes of this organization’s consulting business — and why those things set this company apart.

Solution: While the messaging and content was solid, the vehicle for delivering the message was completely open. Early on in discussions, we felt confident that in order for learners to view this message as real and genuine, they needed to hear it from their peers. We flew out to meet several top professionals and captured them as they stated in their own words what working at this company means to them. Then we set out to weave the story of how consultants thrive in this organization, using animation, motion graphics, 3D illustration, and these heartfelt testimonials. Delivery anytime, anywhere was critical: The video can be accessed on smartphones, tablets, or laptops, so professionals can pull it up in the office, at home, or even waiting for a plane. On the run, but learning!

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Responding to a Crisis in a Safe Environment

An Enticing Game to Introduce the World of R&D

Challenge: Consumer-products companies depend on research and development (R&D) to dream up new products, flavors, and colors to attract customers. But does anyone really understand what happens behind the R&D curtain? Our client wanted to shine a light on the amazing processes and achievements made by its R&D team — and do so in a compelling way that would make employees sit up and take notice!

Solution: Rather than a traditional e-learning course, we discovered that our client needed a combination of internal communications and learning. They also needed a “hook” that would entice their audience to complete the course. They asked; we delivered. One unique aspect is the course navigation: a map that the learner can use to be involved in the process of turning an innovative idea into a final product. As each section is completed, the learner gets a completion icon and his percentage complete increases — gaming elements that motivate the learner to finish the course. Key to the course’s success is an underlying sense of discovery and storytelling, which gets rave reviews from learners. Behind the R&D curtain turns out to be pretty darn exciting!

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Teaching 300,000+ Employees about the Supply Chain

Teaching 300,000+ Employees about the Supply Chain

Challenge: At PepsiCo, gaining a deep understanding of the business is an essential step in an employee’s career growth path. To assist in meeting this goal, the company unveiled its Supply Chain Academy, a targeted training program that encompasses manufacturing, transport, sales operations, and more. With an audience of 300,000+ employees, including a wide range of ages and experience, PepsiCo needed an interactive, concise, and energetic e-learning module focused on the end-to-end supply chain to kick-off the Academy.

Solution: Kicking off a large endeavor like this brings one word to mind: analysis. And that was our very first step — getting an understanding of the audience, the environment, and the subject matter. PepsiCo has a strong, dynamic brand, so we looked at how to support and reinforce key messages throughout the training. We designed the course to present an engaging, interactive story: an employee navigating through and learning about each function within the supply chain. The course map represents the end-to-end supply chain, and we hand control over to the learner to self-explore each section. Animation, video, narration, and imagery come together to explain how a Pepsi beverage goes from concept to consumer. It’s quite an exciting journey!

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Understanding a New Breed of Customers and Creating an Emotional Connection

Understanding a New Breed of Customers and Creating an Emotional Connection

Challenge: Petco’s mission — Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. — includes a focus on serving customers whose lifestyle and preferences align with the Natural movement. As Petco moved into the Naturals space, offering natural and holistic food and supplements and toys and products made from sustainable and recycled materials, the company needed to ensure that its associates understood and could identify a customer who might benefit from these products. Petco also wanted associates to get excited about the company’s attention to this marketplace.

Solution: “To truly understand someone, walk a mile in their shoes.” This saying gave us the inspiration to dream up “A Day in the Life of the Natural Customer.” Knowing that we didn’t have a Spielberg budget to shoot the scenes we wanted in video, we opted to create a five-minute piece, fully animated with a warm, playful, illustrated style and an upbeat soundtrack to match. This approach was on target for the younger audience of Petco associates (18–21 year olds). But it wasn’t enough just to see the natural customer going through her day. We needed to create an emotional connection between the customer and the associates watching the piece. We found the common ground between these customers and associates — they all love their pets — and brought that to life in the piece.

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A Revolutionary Tablet-based Sales and Training Tool Prototype

A Revolutionary Tablet-based Sales and Training Tool Prototype

Challenge: Athleta, a unique clothing company focused on active women, is taking the market by storm and opening new stores across the country. Offering sophisticated and highly engineered products suited to a variety of sports, their sales associates, many of whom are athletes themselves, must stay on top of the latest trends, fabrics, and options to effectively meet their customers’ needs. Athleta needed a new approach to deliver product training to associates while keeping them on the floor and in front of customers.

Solution: Immediately, we knew that a tablet-based approach would offer the convenience and sophistication that fits Athleta’s brand. This delivery mechanism allows for real-time access to product knowledge and a personalized learning experience for each store associate. Our prototype identifies three different types of customers. Learners can explore information about each different customer type, including their preferences, how they make buying decisions, and specific products targeted to them. Our concept was to eventually expand the app into an on-the-floor sales tool, with which associates can meet with customers, look up information, consult with other associates in real time, and even place orders. While the project has not gotten the green light yet, we believe this innovative solution represents the future of retail store training!

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A Blended Solution with Interactive Business Simulations Teaches Profitability to Financial Leaders

A Blended Solution with Interactive Business Simulations Teaches Profitability to Financial Leaders

Challenge: In the highly competitive banking world, ensuring that leaders understand how business decisions have direct impact on performance drivers and profitability is critical for success. Our client needed a custom solution that combined information from experts along with hands-on practice in making decisions across all functions of the business.

Solution: Following a comprehensive needs analysis — including focus groups, surveys, and content analysis — we set to work designing the ultimate blended solution for our client: a three-day seminar that integrated expert lectures, classroom activities, and the highlights of the workshop through two interactive, computer-based business simulations. Under the hood of the simulations is a complex, interdependent data model, reflecting the underlying conditions of credit card services and markets. Working closely with subject-matter experts, we identified and defined all the assumptions in terms of how one decision affects another, and how these, in turn, affect the key drivers to performance. During the simulation, learners compete in cross-functional teams, enthusiastically discussing the strategies behind their decisions. We are proud to have been entrusted with such an important training challenge that demanded a cutting-edge solution, and to have produced a highly effective training for our client.

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Creating Consultative Financial Advisors using Video Scenarios and Assessment Tools

Creating Consultative Financial Advisors using Video Scenarios and Assessment Tools

Challenge: In today’s business climate, consultative skills are increasingly essential for individuals working in sales — and particularly those working with high-net-worth individuals. Our client needed to transition financial advisors acting as “order takers” to wealth managers who are “trusted advisors.” The company had designed a live event that included role play and hands-on practice, but before coming to the event, they wanted participants to gain exposure to what it “looks like” to behave like a wealth manager and to reflect on where they were the their transition.

Solution: We took on this pre-work challenge by designing an interactive e-learning course that offers opportunities for modeling behaviors, self-assessment, and personal reflection. The 30-minute course features short, video-based scenarios of different flavors of conversation between a financial advisor and the client, showing good, better, and best behaviors. After reviewing the different choices, participants decide which version most embodied the consultative skills and receive feedback. It’s one thing to see a case study, and another to determine where you are and what you are doing to make the transition. So, we also provided an online tool and some thought-provoking questions to get participants to think actively about how to move their practices.

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Addressing a Major Public Health Concern with Accurate, Interactive E-Learning

Addressing a Major Public Health Concern with Accurate, Interactive E-Learning

Challenge: Mishandling and improper storage of vaccines has the potential to cost states millions of dollars every year and cause harm to patients. To address this problem, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) established the EZ-IZ program, which includes training for physician’s assistants (who often speak English as a second language) on best practices in administration of vaccines. CDPH needed a partner who could create a series of visually rich, accurate, interactive online courses for this audience.

Solution: We invented Elena, a friendly, Hispanic avatar who represents the physician’s assistants and warmly guides learners through the key steps to understand how to properly store and administer vaccines. Because the target audience on average reads at a fifth-grade level, we maximized the use of image-based activities and audio narration. We enjoyed a terrific collaboration with the CDPH team, and they asked us to create their website portal and online registration forms as well. Because of the program’s great success, we have begun working with other states to customize the EZ-IZ courses and online components for their needs.

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Building Awareness and Increasing Sales for an Innovative Product with Customer Testimonials

Building Awareness and Increasing Sales for an Innovative Product with Customer

Challenge: People love their pets and want the very best for them. In that spirit, Nature’s Variety, a natural, holistic pet food company, offers a new approach to pet food: raw. For those new to feeding raw food, there are many questions and concerns to address and rumors to debunk, so the company needed a way to train associates in retail stores on the nutritional benefits of raw along with the specific features of its products.

Solution: What struck us first in starting this project was the compelling story of Nature’s Variety and its customers: true advocates who have seen dramatic transformations in their pets’ health and well-being after transitioning to the raw food products. Our approach was to weave in these compelling and passionate stories with the nuts and bolts of nutrition and feeding processes, building awareness and providing the selling points for the products. The videos are shown in retail stores across the U.S. and Canada, and are designed to work for Nature’s Variety’s website and other formats to extend the marketing reach and increase ROI.

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