Co-Creation: Involving your Consumers

Co-creation is about involving consumers in the ideation phase of a new product or service. To contribute, evaluate, and refine concepts in order to enhance them. The value of co-creation is that it creates customer loyalty. Giving the opportunity to contribute to the process of creating a product or service aids in increasing product success because the ideas generated will have a higher reflection of consumer needs and wants. This also provides a competitive advantage for the company. The main purpose of co-creation is to improve product quality, reduce risk, and increase market acceptance.

The consumers that are typically willing to participate in co-creation include the following:

  • Innovators – early adopters
  • Lead users – reflects general needs of people in the future
  • Emergent consumers – applicable intuition and judgment
  • Market mavens – knowledgeable about products, places to shop, and etc.

There are several factors that play a role in why certain consumers are more willing to contribute to the process of co-creation which include financial rewards, social benefits, technical knowledge gain, and psychological factors. This being said, to encourage consumers to partake in co-creation it is best to increase the benefits it provides them. Another way to stimulate co-creation is to reduce the costs of participating, meaning time and effort, for the consumer.

A few factors that inhibit co-creation include the following:

  • Secrecy concerns – possibility of exposure to competitors
  • Ownership of intellectual property – who owns the idea? May create legal entanglements
  • Information overload – deciding which ideas are good and bad

Quirky and Kickstarter are examples of companies  participating in co-creation. Quirky is a place where people are able to submit their ideas for a new invention. A few hundred submissions are selected to be designed, and then a few products from those designs are actually built. Kickstarter is a place where people are able to vote for ideas with their money to become a “backer.” These backers are offered rewards, such a unreleased versions of the new product.


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