The Future of Innovation is Customer Co-Creation

The Future of Innovation is Customer Co-Creation

I’ve always believed in the idiom “two heads are better than one,” but what happens when a company adopts that mantra and expands on it? What happens when a company involves not only two people, not only their entire company, but outside consumers in their decision-making? If done right, it can transform your business into an efficient, innovative, and profitable machine.

This process in which companies involve consumers in the design and development of their business’s offerings is called customer co-creation. Customer co-creation focuses on understanding and meeting consumers’ needs and if a business is willing to listen, there are many benefits to this tactic.

Image owned by 8barbikes on flickr, used by permission under Creative Commons license

Image owned by 8barbikes on flickr, used by permission under Creative Commons license

Customer Co-creation Advantages

  1. Increase innovation volume
    We’ve all been there: the company product team is sitting around a table brainstorming new ideas only to hit a creative block. Grow the amount of brain-stormers to increase the amount of concepts that can be considered for implementation.
  2. Enhance product development
    Bring design and development to life based on consumer influence. Products are only worth a customer’s perceived value. If you enhance the product, you will improve the value of that product.
  3. Reduce risk
    Listening to consumer input lessens the danger of product rejection. Unlike a company who creates an offering internally, co-creation generates feedback before a product is actually generated and offered, saving money, or could potentially enhance a current item, improving the product.
  4. Engage consumers and generate brand loyalty
    Consumers love to know they are being taken into consideration when the development of an offering occurs. Not only does co-creation generate customer conversation and feedback, it demonstrates the business cares what they have to say and is willing to consider their recommendations. Even better, once you do apply ideas; think of the completed free advocacy potential this customer now holds.

Before implementing co-creation a word of caution: co-creation doesn’t work for all projects. If you determine it is the right size and type of venture you would like feedback from the consumer on, make sure you have a solid plan in place that outlines the strategy and goals.

Connecting with consumers is essential in today’s world. Co-creation allows this engagement to take place while letting the consumer take ownership in the brand. Listen and learn from your consumer and grow your business.