News & Views

Bulbshare / Group exercise

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world 

UK startup scales co-creation between brands and customers

Group exercise

British startup Bulbshare has developed a co-creation app that brings brands and audiences together to collaborate on new products, services and campaigns.

Upon licensing its software, companies receive their own channel within the app and can submit briefs to a specifically defined audience. Bulbshare helps identify the most relevant co-creators for the briefs out of its pool of 50,000 users. The community then works with the brand to develop content, services and products together.

For example, TV channel BBC Three used Bulbshare to connect with a network of creatives from across the UK. The media platform then used this network to validate its digital transition strategy, better understand what content it should be focusing on and create original programme ideas. This request received a 92% engagement rate across the community and helped generate 293 ideas. Ultimately, the input from the community resulted in a 7% increase in viewership on BBC’s digital platform, iPlayer.


Brands can licence the software for a minimum of six months, however, the startup says companies usually sign up for one or two years as a start. The app is free for users, who also get rewarded for participation. These incentives depend on the brand and the specific brief and range from monetary rewards, access to exclusive events and products, to work experience and mentorship from industry leaders. For instance, when BBC Three chose programme ideas submitted by Bulbshare creators, the participants were paid as fellow producers.

Bulbshare co-founder and managing director Matt Hay told Contagious that this way of co-creation is different from user-generated content and working with influencers because the creators are chosen based on their passions, not their follower count. And because co-creation requires involving the community right from the start. ‘Too often, with standard UGC, the quality is poor and the experience for users is poor as well. It becomes a transaction. Whereas co-creation is about working together with the brand. When brands co-create new products, campaigns or services with the audience as early in the process as possible, they have a stronger product-market fit. It de-risks the outcome’

Having already worked with eBay, MTV, Unilever, Vodafone, Lipton, Greenpeace, Public Health England and the British Council, the startup now wants to scale the business and become the number one place for the world to share ideas.