Lloyd Melnick, VGW’s Chief Growth Officer, has gone from co-founding a game company in the early ‘90s to fuelling the growth of some of the biggest companies in the industry. With nearly three decades of experience in the industry, he shares his insights on achieving growth and success.
Prioritising New Digital Products
Lloyd joined VGW in 2019 to lead Chumba Casino and, in January this year became VGW’s Chief Growth Officer. One of his key responsibilities is to deliver new products that drive the next generation of growth at VGW. Staying ahead of the game requires innovation through new product creation, however, Lloyd emphasises that the key lies in effectively prioritising potential projects and their development.
“No part of the new product development process is as important as prioritisation. There are many great ideas but the reality is most new projects will fail, so you have to be very careful in what products you put resources behind,” Lloyd says.
“By not focusing on the right products, it takes longer to get the good ones to market and you risk not giving them enough resources to reach their full potential.”
Data and Market-Driven Approach
Lloyd says his approach to prioritisation is driven by data and the market.
By creating a scorecard for each new potential product, he says it’s important to evaluate multiple factors like financial impact, how it aligns with the company’s long-term strategy, if it leverages existing strengths, the probability of success, and technological feasibility.
“We overlay this process with market research to understand which products will best satisfy our existing players and which could bring more people into the VGW family,” Lloyd says.
Listening to Customers While Staying Adaptable
In a rapidly evolving market, Lloyd says VGW stays agile by continuously listening to player needs and integrating that with market conditions.
“We look very closely at the feedback we get from players of our existing products via surveys, social media and their interactions with our customer-facing teams and then combine that information with market trends,” he says.
Lloyd emphasises that when it comes to testing new products, sometimes asking people to predict what they want isn’t always the best approach. As Henry Ford famously once said: “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Meanwhile, Steve Jobs pointed out that market research would have told him to kill the iPad at the concept stage.
“With some of our more innovative new projects, market research is not very useful as people do not always understand what they would want in a radically new product,” Lloyd says.
What’s Next for VGW
Lloyd adds that by delivering new products that build upon existing strengths and expanding the player base, VGW edges closer to its mission of becoming the world’s largest games company.
“Our new products will help build on what has made VGW great. They extend players’ experiences with Chumba, LuckyLand and Global Poker into new mechanics while still retaining what makes these brands great. We also are building a line of products that helps engage new players and enhances the experience for our loyal players,” Lloyd says.
“VGW is on a mission to become the largest games company in the world, and we can achieve that goal with a breadth of products to satisfy a very diverse audience throughout the globe. New products are critical to us achieving our mission”.