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Put your people in the same room with your customers’ people to co-create programs, solutions and initiatives that benefit both organizations.

On your website or in your corporate communications, you may use the word ‘partner’ when you talk about your customers. But, would your customers agree? Do they truly see you as a partner in their business?

If you really do believe in the whole notion of partnership, there’s a way to make it a reality instead of wishful thinking. Co-creation through BigStorming® will put your people in the same room with your customers’ people with the express intent of co-creating programs, solutions and initiatives that benefit both organizations. I organize, facilitate and conduct every BigStorming® session. Co-creation guarantees big ideas and invariably leads to better team bonding.

You can use Co-creation through BigStorming® to address stagnant or declining sales, strategic planning sessions, new product introductions, and special themed events.

Why Co-creation?

New ideas are the fuel that drives your business forward. If you do not harness the creative power of your own team and the insights of your customers, you risk lost sales, market share and, more importantly, the ability to stand head and shoulders above your competitors. You cannot hope to create unique and breakthrough ideas in a vacuum. Nor can you expect to delight your customers through relevant and exciting big ideas without a deep and visceral understanding of the inner workings of their business.

That’s why Co-creation includes customer team members from Purchasing, Marketing, Merchandising, Logistics, Franchise Operations and Management in the process. By putting everyone together in a room, your team gets a 360 degree view of your customer’s business and business objectives and your customers get to know you better as well.

Away from the phone !

To Co-create truly big ideas you need to put the right stakeholders on a partnership footing. Create time and space together in a neutral, non-threatening setting with no phones and Blackberries. The time together must be orchestrated carefully and professionally to invite everyone’s creativity as well as their business insights and expertise. My BigStorming® techniques are designed to excite, cajole and inspire cross functional teams into working together in pursuit of surprising, breakthrough ideas.

Every BigStorming® session is different, aligned and designed specifically to address each party’s goals, number of attendees, time imperatives, and budget. Not only does BigStorming® produce guaranteed results, the process exhilarates and refreshes everyone who attends.

National brand and a major retailer spend quality time together

One of my more recent Co-creation sessions involved a well-established brand name and one of Canada’s largest retail chains. The brand had recently signed an exclusive national distribution agreement with the retailer and was ratcheting up its marketing thinking to meet aggressive revenue targets.

The brand retained the services of Barefoot Brainstorming to design and facilitate a half day session at an offsite location involving the key stakeholders from both organizations. The morning consisted of a series of games and creative exercises designed to uncover untapped opportunities, and to work as a Team to generate big ideas for the category.

At the end of the 5 hour session, they had revised and strengthened the marketing calendar for the balance of the year by adding a series of new big ideas as well as several tactical and anti-competitive strikes.

Both brand and retailer considered the time and format outstandingly productive. In fact, the retailer suggested that the Co-creation process be rolled out as a road show annually so that every region could participate.

The relationship between brand and retailer rose to new level. After working and innovating together, a unique bond was formed. A far more open and collaborative approach to business was now the way of the future. Other departments observed the success of BigStorming® and are now incorporating this methodology as a best practice in planning.

And the joint objective of building revenues? Sales have become significantly stronger since the BigStorming® session and implementation of the new plan.