Co-creation is a collaborative activity in which customers actively contribute to the content of new product offerings. Brands are giving over some control to people, and digital tools are opening up their creativity.
Businesses are now trying to optimize the benefits and minimize the risks involved with co-creation initiatives.
There are a few rules to follow when tapping into other people’s creative flair. Some examples have been given below, which show how brands have been rewarded by sticking to the guiding rules.
The importance of Community-Building
Those co-creation initiatives that have been effective have mostly been the ones that have succeeded in building a community of like-minded individuals. Such communities have a degree of openness and transparency, and a sense of long-term commitment.
It is about a ‘we’ process as opposed to an ‘us-them’ one. For instance, Boeing sought outside help for the development of its Dreamliner airplane.
A virtual community of more than 120,000 members was involved in each stage of the development of the aircraft, from the name to the external design, the color of seats, to final assembly processes.
By using the ideas of an external network of people, Boeing gained considerably in research and kept development costs to a minimum.
Engage Customers Directly
Through co-creation, brands get the opportunity to interact directly with end users. For instance Red Bull’s Art of Can has a global reach.
The campaign is a good reflection of Red Bull’s spirit, with no limits and no rules, with just a can for inspiration.
All entries, whether by creative amateurs or professional artists, reflected the brand’s principles of stimulation and enhanced performance. It resulted in imaginative and witty aluminum art across the spectrum of different media.
Enhance Customer Experience
Co-creation enhances customer engagement because it makes customers feel like they are involved and valued in the initiatives of their brand.
They see that their ideas are being received and reviewed and it might even influence product innovation and improvement. In 2018, Ikea launched, ‘Co-create Ikea’, a digital platform that encouraged customers to design and develop new products.
If a suggestion for furniture or product design was seen as successful, IKEA would license the technology or agree to invest in future products.
For customers, it is a strong incentive to gain exposure through the world’s largest furniture retailer. Participants would also receive cash rewards if their ideas were selected.
This campaign allowed the company to harness useful design insights and contribute to a community of dedicated customers.
Helpful for Product Development
Using co-creation for product development leads to long-term benefits, as it creates new opportunities for brand advocates to emerge and influence other buyers.
For instance, Lego Ideas is an online community that brings together creators from all around the world to imagine and evaluate ideas for new Lego kits.
Members actively participate in development journeys for several successful products. Participants also get monetary incentives if their designs are selected. For the company, the benefit is a continuous source of ideas to draw from.