If you have other questions that you would like to see answered on this page please
What time period is needed in class?
This simulation can be used for exercised of between 1 and 3 hours.
Can I afford it?
Our pricing system is on a per head basis so if you have 20 students
in your class you need 20 student licences. For academic use the Brands simulation is charged
at £6.00 per student so a class of 20 would cost £120.00. Academic licences are subject to
a minimum charge of £60.00. Volume discounts are available for large classes and we also offer a
permanent licensing option which is very economic over 5 years or more of use.
For executive programs the cost is £20.00 per participant on the course.
Can students have this on their own PC?
Yes, we can make a code available that permits this. However the duration is limited to the period
of the course. Please request a student licence code when ordering.
Getting started — the interface
The initial screen provides a little information about the challenge and enables setting
of a launch budget.
Having set the launch budget you are taken to the main screen. On the left there is a
decision box: as this is a very simple scenario there are
only three decisions the team have control over: wholesale price, monthly advertising
spend and the overall size of the sales-force.
There are a number of reports available from the menu to help the you see how you are doing: take a
look at the summary report to start with and note the other reports, graphs and tables
that are available.
Getting started — Playing the game:
Teams of players (we suggest 3-4 people per team) enter their decisions and then select Run.
They use the reports etc to see how their decisions are affecting business performance.
The default period that the game runs forward is 1 months, players can select to change
this to 3 months or 1 or 3 years.
The following documentation is provided:
For Teacher only
Class preparation notes, annotated slide set, full size slides for printing to acetate
For replication and distribution to students
User guide, slide handouts 2 per page. 'Brand Turn-round Challenge' - a paper-based exercise in working
through the relationships between advertising + sales efforts, and the consequences for brand performance.
Suggested background materials for class pre-reading:
Basic readings on strategic resources, available in any good strategy text book (but choose readings that
are rich in factual analysis, rather than purely descriptive sources) – e.g. Grant R.M. 'Contemporary Strategy
Analysis', Chapter 5 – Analysing Resources and Capabilities, Blackwell.
Basic readings on Strategy Dynamics, available from our catalogue – e.g. the article Warren K D, 1999,
'The Dynamics of Strategy', Business Strategy Review, Vol.10, No.3, pp.1-16.
For Systems Thinking teachers, basic readings on reinforcing and balancing feedback, e.g. Senge P, 1990, 'The Fifth Discipline', Doubleday.
Assessing student performance
This is general guidance when using Microworlds
- Request a manual estimation of solution to the Brand Turnround Challenge (individual or groups) using the spreadsheet data and planning sheet provided
- Set Microworld simulation into any state of the teacher's choice (such as one of the Challenges provided), set an objective to be achieved (typically a target for sales, brand profit or cumulative cash position, within constraints of the teacher's choice). Request individuals or groups to experiment with alternative policies, and report on their recommended solution, including quantitative statement of policy and time-path of results.
- Request individuals or groups to seek comparable situations where growth of resource A depends on the level of resource B, and vice versa, and report on:
Examples should be situations of continuing consumption, rather than one-off purchases (since these have somewhat different dynamics), such as:
- the time-path of the key variables,
- the performance challenge that management faces, and
- suggested solutions, including scale, timing and outcomes.
- professional staff and clients in service firms
- donors and beneficiaries for charities (a third resource is volunteers),
- supporters and players for sports teams (a third resource is media coverage).