BLDG-25: Powering Business Innovation through Gaming Psychology

Troy Knight, Founder & CEO One of the most popular video game series in history is Super Mario, selling over 330 million copies worldwide. The success behind that iconic Italian plumber mascot can be attributed, in part, to an incredible gaming experience and player engagement that created a high player return rate.

Now imagine if you could inspire the same level of interest in business products? What if you could build video game user engagement and experience into enterprise applications and platforms? The results can be astonishing.

Enter BLDG-25, a North Carolina-based company that infuses the appeal of games with enterprise applications to provide an incredible user experience while maximizing user engagement and product purpose. With a group of gaming industry veterans who have capitalized on their collective experience and applied it to product development—BLDG-25 has pioneered a unique methodology that incorporates gaming psychology into product development. "We have a wide variety of strategic resources that are focused on evaluating products from the perspectives of behavioural science and consumer decisions, also known as behavioral heuristics as well as an immersive user experience. With that expertise, we design, develop, and deliver innovative products and services for clients," says Troy Knight, founder and CEO of BLDG-25.

A Unique Combination

Since inception, BLDG-25, which started as a creative, digital agency embedded in the walls of a management-consulting firm, has built its identity on the foundation of design, gaming, and learning. "Our DNA is centered on the gaming industry," says Grant Kaley, CMO of BLDG-25.

BLDG-25 merges this unique DNA with its expertise in different emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, distributed ledger technology, 5G, and IoT to help businesses overcome one of their most pressing challenges today -- the inability to innovate.

"Technology is changing with a speed and complexity that large companies can't legitimately match. Yet, in order to stay competitive, they must," says Knight. However, the past few decades have provided us with the evidence that the larger the company, the more it struggles to innovate. In fact, a report from PwC, which looked at 1,200 global executives and business leaders in 44 countries, found that 54 percent of companies struggle to align their business and innovation strategies. There are many reasons for this, including the aversion of these companies to experiment, and the lack of top management support and involvement.

In today’s business climate, with the rapid adoption of emerging technologies taking hold, large companies can’t keep up. For many, building expertise on emerging technologies internally is too broad. Often, these enterprises hire outside expertise from agencies that offer quick fixes for simple problems. But quick fixes from outside agencies won’t foster true innovation. Partly because outside experts don't fully understand a company's business needs, and there is a general lack of follow-through on projects.

We have a wide variety of strategic resources that are focused on evaluating products from a behavioral heuristics as well as an immersive experience perspective

In this scenario, to keep pace with competition and remain relevant, large organizations need to partner with firms that have vast experience and know-how in the space of technological innovation. This is where BLDG-25 excels, with an expertise that ensures enterprise viability and market speed to address clients' challenges with emerging technologies and immersive experiences. The company then layers these offerings with its unique processes that range from consulting and problem statement discovery through prototyping, proof of concept, minimum viable product, ongoing servicing management, program management, and ultimately, helping clients think about the next phase of innovation.

"We touch at the heartstrings of our clients when it comes to partnering with them and help them through the transformation," says Kaley. This makes BLDG-25 one of the most sought-after product management partner for large enterprises.

In one instance, Raytheon, a major U.S. defense contractor, hired BLDG-25 to design a fun and engaging solution to train their Air traffic control (ATC) employees. The challenging scenario demanded BLDG-25's creative, technical, and learning expertise. By leveraging its gamification, game mechanics, and outstanding UX design capabilities, BLDG-25 devised a multi-level simulated solution aimed at increasing learner retention and developing a healthy competition between trainees. The solution provided analytics and leader boards, along with reporting and tracking system while helping boost the engagement through competition, and better involvement of trainers with trainees.

Powered by Logic, Driven by Engagement

Success stories like these are powered by a system of frameworks, solutions, products, and a multi-phased methodology that is unique to BLDG-25. Everything that the company develops is born from the collaborative effort of its in-house experts and clients.

In the first phase of collaboration, BLDG-25 helps a client clarify their main objectives. In the next phase, BLDG-25 delves deep into a client's business model and workflow. Once BLDG-25 gains the complete picture of a client's requirements, the company can gather information from users through surveys, user interviews, contextual inquiry, usability studies, and online surveys. BLDG-25 then curates this information to derive a strategy that will develop and deploy a solution that leverages gaming background, behavioral heuristics, and gaming psychology.

For example, consider BLDG-25's recent engagement with a healthcare entity that was concerned with their disengaged learners and low training performance due to an outdated, complex training process.
With a large number of employees, it was a strenuous task for the company to develop a system to create better engagement, increase performance outputs, and deliver continued workforce education. The healthcare giant approached BLDG-25 to update, modernize, and streamline their training program. Conducting an in-depth analysis, BLDG-25 identified the client's issues and recommended a total curriculum redesign and development of an online, interactive personal learning portal.

BLDG-25 built a strategy and developed a system that met the client's requirements. The portal allowed instructors to create and house their learning content in one place. It helped learners to engage in a variety of focused learning initiatives, maintain engagement throughout the learning journey, follow their unique learning path to mastery, and maximize their potential for success. In a nutshell, it was a win-win situation for the management, instructors, and learners as the new system resulted in higher engagement, retention, and performance on the floor.

Having a multi-phased approach, BLDG-25 can incorporate new changes and additional requirements brought in by stakeholders without harming the entire project. This helps the company to manage costs and reduce risks for clients. BLDG-25's comprehensive approach also includes multiple steps to dig out behavioral heuristics and identify the behavioral patterns of the user community. The company leverages this information while deriving the strategy for its clients. Like BLDG-25's collaboration with RBC, one of the largest banks in the world that wanted to deliver an exciting new experience for its Canadian customers. BLDG-25 created a mobile-friendly online knowledge base that helped the client reduce the time spent on support calls while providing excellent support to their customers. The solution had features that allowed call handlers to use filtering searches to get the right answer faster.

"Our DNA is centered on the gaming industry"

A culture that Leads to Success

BLDG-25 has garnered an impressive list of clients over the years, including RBC Bank, TeleHealth, 2Revolutions, Raytheon, Fidelity, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Kaley attributes the company's success to the team that played a vital role in developing its robust business model and technology edge. Specifically, people like David Nason, the CTO of BLDG-25, who possesses deep expertise in software design and architecture. Having worked with multinational corporations, including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, Nason has played a vital role in building the foundation for BLDG-25. Alongside him, the backing of a dedicated team with significant experience in the gaming industry has helped the company climb up the ladder of success. Recently, BLDG-25 was ranked 330 in the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

Having achieved significant growth in a short period, BLDG-25 is rolling out plans to enhance its sales and marketing capabilities, and is currently hiring product management experts within the industry, who align well with BLDG-25's business framework and ideology.

From a geographical standpoint, BLDG-25 plans to expand across the U.S. But, as opposed to the generic trend of attempting for rapid expansion, BLDG-25 is looking forward to 'smart growth' by staying in tune to its culture. "Our aim is to be the brand name for helping enterprises innovate," concludes Knight.


Raleigh, NC

Troy Knight, Founder & CEO and Grant Kaley, CMO

BLDG-25 is a unique full product life cycle, experiential design and development company with expertise derived from the gaming industry, with a group of gaming industry veterans who have capitalized on their collective experience and applied it to product development. In essence, BLDG-25 has pioneered a unique methodology that incorporates gaming psychology into product development. The company has alignment across emerging technologies, decision heuristics, and learning theory. BLDG-25 improves outcomes like user engagement and adoption. In addition, BLDG-25 has been recognized for its leadership as an innovative development partner by being named #330 on the Inc. 5000