Product Development Opportunity

What is learned from the users and what is recorded from their operation of the simulator can be used to modify, optimize, or validate the design of the tractor model. For example, a user-to-user comparative analysis of front-loader arm movement could be carried out. Based on relative performance as established by the leaderboard, tractor designers could then adjust front-loader arm length, for example, to optimize tractor efficiency.Jaiswal et al. (2018) explored the possibility of identifying key functionality design requirements for mobile working machinery. In addition to tractor functionality aspects, the user game data can also be used to identify key engine parameters, such as average fuel consumption. Using these data, machine design and operation-related bottlenecks can be identified and optimized.

Features that most users deemed unsuitable can be initially identified from the game data and further confirmed through the interviews. Based on the findings, the product concept could be revised and these unwanted features could be eliminated. Furthermore, the gamified simulator experience can help to identify the driver interface features preferred by the users. For example, they may prefer to see machine data indicators such as the speedometer, inclinometer, or fuel gauge as a heads-up display (HUD). Understanding this preference early on could be invaluable for companies who are willing to integrate HUD- based technology into their vehicles.

Marketing Opportunity

This study result in a gamified digital machine platform that most companies can integrate into the design and validation of agricultural machine products under development. Building a brand community and content marketing is not new to the heavy machinery industries. For example, John Deere is a well- known international farming equipment company. John Deere has worked to build brand identity and a brand community since the nineteenth century with its customer magazine “The Furrow” (Pulizzi, 2013).The gamified digital platform also supports marketing by providing an easy and inexpensive demonstration of a particular agricultural machine. The parameterization capability of the machine simulation model gives it the capability of reaching a larger audience, irrespective of the availability of components. Moreover, potential customers can be given the opportunity to test a machine they are interested in and exercise it in various scenarios such as the deformable sandy environment used in this study.

In addition, the proposed gamified digital platform of a tractor can be integrated into traditional digital marketing channels such as an online customer magazine or social media platforms. In the demonstrated solution, the gamified affordances enabled achievement or progression tracking, that is, users were able to customize their tractors to improve performance. Stimulating user competitiveness in this way can help to motivate users to make more use of the gamified platform. Affordances that enable social and immersive experiences (such as sharing game-play video, encouraging customization of the tractor, and providing avatars for game play) can be used to motivate brand-relationship behaviors. Shared user content is a specific form of word-of-mouth, which is known to positively influence attitudes and behaviors, as shown in the study by Herold, Sipila.Tarkiainen, and Sundqvist (2018). Furthermore, the gamified digital platform allows users to exercise control over and associate themselves with the machine, which helps them to develop psychological ownership (Jussila.Tarkiainen, Sarstedt, & Hair, 2015).

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