Why should you engage with the most creative of all consumers?

I did say in my previous entry that today’s entry would be on how Asian brands leverage on co-creation. But in a meeting earlier last week I happened to find myself answering this question: “Why do we choose to engage the creative one?”. I thought that this would make an even better blog entry because this is a question that our clients frequently ask.

More often than not, clients wonder why we pick a very select group of creative individuals (i.e., the eYeka Community) to innovate and co-create for our brands. Why don’t we adopt a traditional approach and ask all consumers, instead of a select few? The reason is really very simple, and what Henry Ford said many years ago encapsulates this best: “If I had asked the people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”.

For ordinary consumers, it is very hard to imagine something that does not exist today. If we were to ask ordinary consumers how they would like to improve computers, chances are, they would want a faster computer with faster USB and a bigger screen in a thinner casing.

What sets  more creative consumers apart is their ability to imagine, to think out of the box and to come up with creative solutions to complex problems. If we asked them to improve on the already very thin laptops of today, they might suggest using innovations in materials and textile to create foldable touch-screen laptops.

Their only restriction is their imagination. And since we know that consumers, such as members of our eYeka community, are extremely creative, their imagination is virtually limitless.

Don’t get us wrong, we are not saying that there is no value in talking to ordinary consumers. In fact, talking to ordinary consumers gives brands great insights as they are good at letting brands know their needs, the things they like or don’t, whether a product or service works for them, etc… In short they are good at identifying problems.

What we are saying however, is that the ordinary consumer is not very good at coming up with innovative solutions to the problems a brand may face, unlike the creative ones.

But these creative people are not exactly the target audience unlike my ordinary consumer” one might wonder (and our clients wonder about this often). Indeed, they may not be the target audience but this does not mean that ideas that come from innovative consumers will not resonate with a given target audience. In fact, it is likely that the creative director of your agency is not representative of your target audience either… Yet you trust him to come up with ideas that work for your customers.

Similarly, eYeka tap into a community of creative talents to create innovative solutions to marketing problems, then test and validate these innovative solutions with ordinary consumers, representative of a given target audience. So the cycle is completed and different types of consumers are engaged based on what they do best.

The next entry will be on how Asian brands leverage on co-creation. I promise!

About Scott Teng

Former Regional Collaborative Planner at eYeka, Scott helped enabling brands to tap into the collective creativity of the eYeka community to ideate on current problems and come up with unconventional and innovative solutions. Scott studied Communications and Psychology in Singapore and is a self-professed Apple fan! He now works as Senior Research Executive in a qualitative research company in Singapore
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7 Responses to Why should you engage with the most creative of all consumers?

  1. Great post, but could you give some advice and examples on how best to locate and engage these creative consumers online given that right now they are very busy, often selective, and are thus hard to engage and motivate in online activities (and offline of course). Thanks

    • scott says:

      Dear Stephen,

      Thank you for your comment. With regards to locating these creative consumers, it really depends on the geography, interests and skills of the creative consumers. At eYeka, we have community managers located throughout the world who are very in-tune with them and know where they « hang-out » online. Thus locating them is really a matter of knowing where to look in which region. For example, if we are looking for video makers in the North America region, then Vimeo will be a good place to start.

      In terms of engagement, we believe its a lot about understanding what these creative consumers are looking for. We recently conducted a survey with the creative consumers that make up our community to understand them better. And as you can see from the link, the creative consumers engage with us because of 4 reasons: Fulfillment, Fun, Fortune and Fame. When we are able to provide these 4 Fs for them, we are able to engage with them closely.

      I hope this answers your question. Thank you.

    • linkruil says:

      This makes perfect sense to me!!!

    • Bewafa says:

      Great piece of writing!!!

  2. Good post. Thanks. One concern about your nomenclature: « creative consumer ». I think that’s misleading to your client/brands. As you point out yourself, you do not need to be in the target group in order be creative and solve a client’s problem. In fact, I think there are a lot more individuals who enjoy creative problem solving and participate on crowdsourcing/co-creation platforms that are not consumers of the projects/brands they choose to undertake. I think it’s unlikely that the motive for your creative « crowd » is : « I love this brand and I want to help them » but rather, « this is a cool problem that I have an affinity for AND it offers a good monetary prize ».

    • scott says:

      Dear George,

      As you rightly say, there are individuals who enjoy creative problem solving, and they are not always consumers of the brands that they choose to undertake. In fact, we do not assume that the participants are consumers of the brand. When we say creative consumers, the consumer in this instance refers to all of us who are consumers in general, and not specific to the brand itself. The key here is the word creative, referring to the more creative folks amongst people like you and I.

      And you are absolutely right in that our members participation motivation. As I’ve answered in the previous comment, the creative consumers engage with us because of 4 reasons: Fulfillment, Fun, Fortune and Fame, so indeed “this is a cool problem that I have an affinity for AND it offers a good monetary prize”, is probably what some of them would be thinking of.

      I certainly hope this answers your question. Thank you.

  3. Pingback: Brands in Asia are using co-creation to innovate too! | eYeka Co-creation Blog

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