For more than a decade, authors around the world have been praising co-creation as a highly effective way to engage with customers and to fuel innovation. The book The Power of Co-Creation, written by renowned academics Venkat Ramaswamy and Francis Gouillart, covers a wide array of examples of how organizations use co-creation to boost growth, productivity and profits.
Co-creative enterprises respond to insights originating from the actual engagement experiences of people […] continuously designing and re-designing what is of value
Some best practices of co-creation strategies are very well-known already : Nike and Apple’s Nike+, Starbucks’ engagement through web-platforms like My Starbucks Idea or Dell’s response to blog-criticism. However, we wanted to share other interesting examples with you, especially when it comes to customer insights gathered through the web.In 2007 Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Product and User Experience at Google said that Google is consistently co-creating its products by involving networks in the design process. “They’re not writing software code, but are offering a huge amount of insight to shape the products”. But even the most advanced self-learning algorithm can not replace deep customer understanding. “Although Google has […] a self-learning algorithm, […] the results by and large still cannot be contextualized”, the authors of the book say. That’s where customer co-creation comes in.
One particularly effective way of gathering genuine customer insights is video. The book illustrates this with the co-creative product development process of the French retail bank Credit Agricole, and the creation of its life insurance product Predica. Workshops revealed that many customers lacked a basic understanding of financial products, but that they wanted to tell their story anyway. The product management team used a web-based platform to allow people could tell “My first savings stories”, and one of the best contributions had been submitted by Aicha, a single mother who worked at the local welfare office. Credit Agricole unanimously agreed that this video should be used for internal product promotion and marketing. “We are effectively getting ‘lower-cost advisors’ to sell the product, and on top of that, they teach each other how to do it! ”, said Isabelle Steinmann, head of Product Develoment at Predica.
The co-creation paradigm can usher in a new era of wealth creation through new economics of interactions and human experiences
Hence, companies benefit from co-creation threefold:
- They integrate knowledgeable people into the scope of innovation
- They get access to high-quality engagement from passionate customers
- They integrate employees who otherwise would not be tapped for ideas
One could add that embracing co-creation boosts your brand image by taking corporate social responsibility “a significant step forward” as Ramaswamy and Gouillart say. It actually increases the social legitimacy of your brand since you get direct and authentic feedback from markets.
In any organization, no matter how focused it is on the experiences of co-creators, there are insights to be gained [that] help enterprises learn smarter and faster and minimize the likelihood of not connecting with human experiences
What about eYeka ?
« Sometimes companies enter the world of co-creation through the experience door » the authors say; and you can leverage eYeka’s international community of consumers. More than 100 leading brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike, Philips, Hewlett Packard… already worked with us to build a direct and authentic connection with consumers, generate genuine insights, co-innovation and consumer engagement. eYeka is present in France, in Singapore, in the United Kingdom and in the USA .
To conclude, we would like to quote briefly one principle stated by Ramaswamy and Gouillart in their Co-Creation Manifesto, which serves as a conlusion of the book:
Enabling [enterprises] to gain insights through the lense of participants and therefore make more meaningful changes