Gain deeper knowledge through our adaptive insights™ communities. See the world through your customer's eyes.

Back To Views

Bounce & Build™: A Blueprint for Co-Creating in the Real World

Innovation is the key to sustained profitable growth, improved customer experiences and ongoing relevance. Continually experimenting with new offerings is how we keep customers engaged and excited. Yet, many companies struggle with making decisions. We tend to become our own barriers. What if we invited customers to help us decide what works and what doesn’t?

LEGO is the company that most people would associate with the power of co-creation. LEGO defines co-creation as the joint creation of value by the company and the customer; allowing the customer to co-construct the service experience to suit their context. In the early 2000s, LEGO developed Mindstorms, an open-source platform that invited customers to help elevate LEGO’s innovation processes. The platform was produced for the development of programmable robots that could be built using LEGO bricks.

As it turned out, hackers reverse-engineered the software and started developing their own programs to improve the ways the robots operated. LEGO’s initial reaction was to turn to legal action against the hackers. However, the company soon realized that online communities of LEGO fans were discussing and working on interesting ideas for improving LEGO products.

LEGO realized the underlying risks, but decided to embrace ideas from fans, stimulate and facilitate contributions, and even invite some fans to work with its internal innovation team. Interestingly, the evolved version of Mindstorms was co-created with LEGO customers and became one of the company’s greatest commercial successes.

The LEGO story shows how a growing number of companies are using customer co-creation as a tool for growth and internal cultural transformation that helps shape company DNA.

Admittedly, “Bounce & Build™” sounds like something you’d find in a Chuck E. Cheese or at an eight-year-old’s backyard birthday party. In actuality, Bounce & Build™ is an agile qualitative research method that incorporates the Voice of the Customer® (VOC) and rapid iteration to eliminate internal debates and subjectivity from the process. Also, Bounce & Build™ enables teams to test marketing, imagery, copy, or creative campaigns. It is a fast way to get in front of the consumer and run experiments on virtually anything related to the brand.

Bounce & Build™ invites customers into a room to be active contributors at the center of the process. These engagements typically involve 10-12 consumers who come together with brand team members in a designed environment for a day of ideating, iterating, and optimizing new-to-the-world concepts. The groups are fast, focused, and efficient. And, most important, highly productive.

Book A Bounce and Build

Customer collaboration gets concepts to the finish line faster

At Finch Brands, we help clients from a range of industries use Bound & Build™ to bridge the hypothesis of what we think customers will do and what customers will actually do. It bridges the gap between experimentation and execution.

We’ve all been there before. You’re naming a new product, testing a creative expression, rebranding, or working to improve the customer experience. You develop viable options and cannot decide as a group on the best path forward. In most cases, you rely on guesswork and internal debate.

Now, with Bounce & Build™, you can include collaborate with the customer early in the process and validate decisions based on real-world input captured directly from the source. All in a timely and efficient manner.

Not your traditional focus group

A Bounce & Build™ is far from a traditional focus group. It’s a one-day workshop that recruits real-life customers to participate in a brainstorming format, enabling them to iterate and evolve concepts during the course of the day through multiple rounds of discussion and development. Working closely with our clients, we develop structured stimulus—everything from creative expressions, brand name options or digital journeys—and bring together customers and cross-functional members of the client team to iterate and optimize ideas.

We incorporate rapid prototyping and iteration methods to energize consumers and cross-functional teams to stay focused and engaged. Typically, teams of three consumers will rotate from station to station in multiple rounds of iteration. Fast collaborations and transparent learning allow us to put consumers at the center of the work and continuously improve and validate ideas throughout the day. Brands are able to strategically Bounce and Build™ to take concepts from conceptual to tangible.   

LEGO defines co-creation as the joint creation of value by the company and the customer; allowing the customer to co-construct the service experience to suit their context.

Bounce & Build™ helps you do more in one day than you ever thought possible:

Test component parts of an idea with real customers
Focus customers on any idea you need input around or hypothesis you wish to test with real consumers. Creative expressions, new product ideas, new positioning, value propositions, brand names, logos, taglines, or customer journeys.

Get consumers to weigh in on concepts in a dynamic, supportive environment
Bounce & Build™ brings together consumers in a way to gain a deeper understanding of consumer biases and preferences through rapid rapport building and real-time iteration. There’s no waiting weeks for decisions or action steps. Bounce & Build™ are industry agnostic, so anyone can play.
Leverage smart compression to experiment with ideas that pay off on your business objectives
The Bounce & Build™ method is a versatile research tool that can be deployed quickly to deliver on the optimal endgame in days or weeks instead of months.

Create cultural moments that raise collective IQ and build company DNA
As Peter Drucker says: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Experience shows that closed, rigid and risk-averse corporate cultures are one of the main barriers to co-creation and creating a thriving, supportive environment for growth.

6 reasons why a Bounce & Build™ is more effective than traditional focus groups:

1. It lets you get in there and get your hands dirty working directly with consumers to test marketing, imagery, copy, creative expressions, or new product ideas 

2. It is a fast way to get in front of the consumer with new ideas you’d like to learn more about. It’s a vetting mechanism that reduces the level of uncertainty 

3. It enables rapid iteration and agile intelligence gathering to optimize ideas in real-time 

4. It is industry agnostic and can be applied to any business objective (Retail, CPG, technology, B2B) 

5. It expedites projects and gets them to the finish liner faster (or at least closer) 

6. It uses direct consumer involvement to settle internal debates and reduce subjectivity 

Seeing and hearing is believing

Impassioned debate is a natural part of any organization. Leaders have strong opinions and want to be heard, as well they should. The trouble begins when constant debates frustrate the process and slow momentum. Bounce & Build™ allows consumers to weigh in on the work early, settle internal debates and conduct qualitative research in a more dynamic, collaborative way.

If you’d like to build the voice of customer into the work you’re doing and directly collaborate with the people you’re trying to influence, reach out to us at Finch Brands. Let’s talk about scheduling a customized one-day Bounce & Build™ around a business objective you’re thinking about.

Book A Bounce and Build

Finch Brands is a real-world brand consultancy that specializes in insights, strategy, and design. We help brands of all sizes win when it matters most by helping them own the change moment.

Finch Brands | Own the change moment.

About The Author: Bill Gullan

Bill Gullan is the President of Finch Brands. His nearly 30-year (ugh!) career in branding has revolved around naming, messaging, M&A brand integration, and qualitative research. He has been with Finch Brands since 2001.

Access Our M&A Branding Playbook

Click here for a step-by-step review of M&A branding best practices.


Explore Our Blog & Podcast

Gain perspective on key topics shaping brands and businesses.

Sign Up For The Finch 5 Newsletter

Five thoughts, topics, and tips to inspire you.