One of my clients, who is following the 50 weekly actions for customer centric excellence as described in Winning Customer Centricity, asked me for some further ideas on how to execute customer co-creation.
Since working more closely with customers is the best way to understand, satisfy and delight them, I am impressed that she is taking customer co-creation even further. In fact, I realised that this is an area that many of you may be interested in learning more about, so I decided to share what I told her, but first …
What is Co-creation?
The term co-creation has been around for decades. However, it is only in the last ten years or so that we are seeing a growth in co-creation in so many different areas of marketing.
According to Wikipedia co-creation is
“A management initiative, or form of economic strategy, that brings different parties together (for instance, a company and a group of customers), in order to jointly produce a mutually valued outcome.”
Individualisation, which offers higher-priced items with a customer perceived higher-value, has been popular for years. It allows customers to design their own unique products to show off their personality. For instance, customers can personalise their M&M chocolates and design their own Nike running shoes. But these are not strictly co-creation since they are designed by one person for for one person. Co-creation is designed by many for the many.
After the success of such personalised offers, organisations understood that there is value in getting input from customers. They now include them not only in product enhancements, but also in developing their advertising and even in first-stage innovation.
The practice has been further intensified by the internet, which has enabled companies to reach out to customers across the globe, virtually for free. Social media, in particular, is a great source of customer understanding, as well as for highlighting issues with current offers. This is why co-creation should include social media in some form, as I’ll share further on.
These are just a few of the best uses of customer co-creation that I remember, but I know there are many more. If you have other examples, I would love you to share them below.
In conclusion, I hope I have inspired you to try customer co-creation and to include them in more of your internal plans and processes. It is not only fun, it also provides you with fresh thinking and a deeper understanding of how your customers’ needs and desires are changing. Makes you wonder why you haven’t done it before, no?
Need help in setting up your first customer co-creation sessions? Then I can help; contact me here: https://c3centricity.com/contact