Asia has been having her share of limelight in recent times, and in terms of businesses, it appears to be mostly good news. It is probably safe to say that everybody wants a piece of Asia. However in the field of co-creation, while US and European stories abound, we seldom read much about how global brands are innovating through co-creation in Asia markets.
Being based in Asia, we see many brands taking the leap and beginning to explore co-creation in their innovation process. The industry has termed this as “Open Innovation”, which is a fairly simple concept: instead of trying to do all the research and development in-house, companies reach out to the wider public and tap on their ideas and skills. This approach to research and development was made famous by P&G in its “Connect + Develop” program which you can read more about here
The reason why brands are moving towards Open Innovation is quite simple, and P&G’s Chairman, President, and CEO Bob McDonald says it best, “We know from our history that while promotions may win quarters, innovation wins decades.” Brands need to innovate to win for the long term.
In Asia there are two big challenges brands face as they try to maintain their foothold in the highly competitive Asian landscape: understanding the Asian consumers, and coming up with ideas that resonate with them. Brands have opted to adopt the co-creation approach (or Open Innovation if you will) to solve these challenges with successful, and often surprising results.
As you might recall from my previous post, we believe that solutions to these challenges lies in engaging creative individuals, because unlike common consumers who are good at telling brands what they need, and what problems they face; these consumers are good at creating innovative solutions.
Gillette, for example, wanted to find out how to make shopping for beauty products more interesting and relevant for the male consumers who are dissatisfied with the current retail experience. Instead of going for a more traditional route of research, Gillette chose to run a projective co-creation campaign with eYeka and received over 100 ideas and insights. In the words of the client, “these ideas helped us to reinforce our design and propose experiences more adapted to men.. .and it led us to design a shopping environment which is closer to the brand and to its consumers.”
Another beauty brand based in the United States wanted to find out how Asian consumers would interpret global male archetypes that were created based on American males. Specifically, the brand wanted them to “Bring Male Beauty to Life The Asian Way”, to better understand what these “Asian Mr” do, what are their beauty routines and most importantly what is unique about them and different from the global (US led) male archetypes.
In a different industry altogether, an F&B brand that will soon be launching a new drink in India wanted to find out the best way to introduce it to the market, and to create a local brand name. Through 2 different co-creation exercises, the brand chose a name based on insights provided by consumer creativity and will be using a video of an eYeka community member to front the drink’s TV launch campaign. This consumer-created video scored the highest in traditional consumer testing and the concept was found to resonate most with Indian consumers.
As we can see, co-creation is very alive here in Asia and we see more and more brands adopting the co-creation approach in their innovation process. Do you have any other examples to share with us? We would love to hear from you!
PS: You can read more about the Gillette campaign, as well as about our whitepaper about the Chinese cosmetic market, over at our downloads page here