Depending on which part of the world you are from, the move towards “power to the people” (or more specifically crowdsourcing and co-creation) is either a very powerful trend that has taken over industries by storm, or one that is still facing some resistance.
Certainly from our many co-creation projects, we definitely see this as an emerging trend that companies are keen to embrace. One would have thought that by now, more people would have understood the distinction between crowdsourcing and co-creation.
I kid, but it is indeed something that we’ve observed here at eYeka. One of the most common questions that we always answer is: “But isn’t co-creation the same as crowdsourcing?” In this blog entry, we will to try to answer this question.
The overarching trend here is definitely the growing importance of the role of the consumer: the power of the collective. This idea certainly isn’t new and we can find roots of it in the open source movement, where groups of people come together to work on projects that they have a passion for during their free time. The most famous of this movement is 2nd most used browser in the world – Firefox.
Aside from the open-source movement, the other common buzz is the “crowdsourcing” approach that some brands have adopted. Crowdsourcing, in a nutshell, outsources projects to the public; this could be anything from creating an advertisement right down to even name-card design. What usually happens is that companies will ask the public to work on something and eventually choose one to implement and award a prize.
Co-creation differs in that co-creation is about working collaboratively with a group of people with specialized skills or talents. These skills and talents are wide-ranging and are dependent on the needs of the companies; they could range from being scientifically skilled to being creatively talented. Also co-creation is not about picking one from many but about working together and distilling the essence of the crowd through iterative steps, enhancing the ideas through the expertise of specialists.
Companies such as P&G and HP have realized that they cannot possibly do everything alone and in-house anymore and have, through their own methods, engaged in co-creation projects with different audiences.
Co-creation works quite similarly here at eYeka. Brands approach us to find solutions to a wide range of business issues, ranging from products and services to content for marketing. And at eYeka we focus our co-creation efforts with the most creative of all consumers: people who have the creative gift and think outside the proverbial box. By tapping into their collective creativity, we are able to get them to ideate on current problems and come up with unconventional and solutions.
This is probably the difference that crowdsourcing does not quite achieve, the ability to work with a specialized group, capture the ideas of the many and work with them through different steps to ultimately create a better experience for the consumer. Crowdsourcing focuses on quantity and results in incremental changes, co-creation focuses on quality and produces innovative solutions.
So there, a short blog entry that I hope will help to clarify and pinpoint the difference between co-creation and crowdsourcing without going into the minute details. To read more about co-creation, click here to see what Prof Ramasawamy has to say!
In the next entry from me, I’ll be showing a case study on how Asian brands leverages on co-creation! So stay tuned