How co-creative are the French?


In 1973, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing said that "in France, we have have no oil, but we have ideas"

Remember that survey that we did a couple of months ago? We surveyed a representative sample of the French population to find out how much of them lead users and/or emergent nature consumers. Together with Professor Eric Vernette from Toulouse, France, we found out that these consumers are actually more willing to engage in co-creation than « regular » consumers. In this post, we’d like to share some results about the Frenchs’ creativity and willingness to co-create. We had 658 people responding to our survey, and respondents are representative of the French census data in terms of age and gender. Check out the results after the break.

63% of French people consider themselves « creative »

Wow, almost 2/3 of the people we surveyed consider themselves to be creative (the question was « Generally speaking, do you consider yourself a creative person?« ). This is more than we had expected! How do they express themselves creatively? 42% spend between half a day to a day per month on activities such as decoration, painting or videos, and 32% use software to create or touch up pictures and videos. When it comes to product innovation, we found that 27% will create products from scratch (virtual or physical), and that more than third of French people have imagined in details how to improve an existing product or create a brand new product.

41.3% of the French consumers would like to spend more time on creative activities

Only 9.4% of the French said that they want to spend less time on creative activities in the future. In other words: the French would love to have the time to paint, play music, create videos etc. What hinders them to do so? Mostly the lack of time! 61% of those who said « I’d like to spend more time on creative activities » say that because they don’t find the time in their daily life! Reasons like the lack of equipment or the lack of stimulation are secondary reasons, with only 16% and 12% of responses. So obviously people would like to spend more time on creative tasks, and the reason is that they feel that creativity is fulfilling.

72% of the French say that they create for their enjoyment,  for personal satisfaction and self-fulfillment. Only 17.7% stated for financial gain as a motivation to be creative

So it seems that creative activity is an important thing, but people just don’t make up the time for it. To find out whether this creative potential could be leveraged for brand engagement or innovation, we asked our respondents to tell us how far they would be eager to engage in co-creation (for instance, we asked « If a brand asked you to help her co-create a product/service with them, how would you react?« ). We were very surprised by the Frenchs’ willingness to co-create!

76% of French people willing to help brands improve their products

76% of them indeed ticked the box « I would strongly agree » or « I would strongly agree« , and that’s a lot! More precisely, it seems that French consumers are willing to co-create in day to day products like consumer goods (32%) and home furniture, decoration or gardening (22%). Surprising for us: Only 4.7% said that they would be interested to co-create in sports, 4.3% in high-tech equipment and 5.4% in the automotive industry. This is quite counter-intuitive when you see the amount of research about user-innovation in these domains. Probably the reason is that they’d love to co-create, only few would innovate from scratch!

48.1% of the French would like to « create and test samples or prototypes before they are available on the market »

Co-creators are not salesmen! The French do not want to participate in promoting products, because only 5.4% would be willing to « participate in the launch or promotion of products that are already available on the market« . According to us, bottom line of this survey is that (1) people feel creative, (2) people would like to create more and, surprisingly for us (3) people are willing to co-create with brands! Have you heard of similar statistics? What do you think about these results? We’d be glad to read from you!

About Yannig

Yannig was Marketing Manager at eYeka, responsible for PR, communication and research. Interested in marketing, innovation and design-related topics, he also loves to free his head by cycling, running, reading or drawing. Yannig, who holds an MSc from ESSCA School of Management and a PhD from University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, tweets under @YannigRoth and blogs at
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4 Responses to How co-creative are the French?

  1. Hi Yannig,
    Great data, thanks for sharing with the world! I for one would love to see the details – both the responses and the verbatim questions. Any plans to publish that?

    You asked about similar statistics. Forrester surveyed 3,990 US online adults in Q2 2010 and found that 61% were « willing co-creators »: they were interested or very interested in providing input to help design and build new products or improve current products. Check out my blog for some more data and interpretation:

    My colleague, Roxane Strohmenger, conducted a similar survey of online Latin Americans in Q4 2010 – specifically, consumers in Brazil and Mexico. While a smaller percentage of the overall population is online, those who are online are even more willing to co-create: 85% of online Mexicans, and 75% of online Brazilians. Roxie offers a bit more insight on her blog:

    Hope you find this data interesting and useful!

    Analyst, Forrester Research

  2. Yannig says:

    We did have these two studies in mind, indeed, and they are very interesting to be compared with our results. As to the details, we would gladly share some but we invite you to stay tuned, as we will publish more extensive survey results and details soon: a similar study which compares France and the United States. Great findings!

  3. Pingback: We’re sharing the eYeka Creativity Survey Dataset [OPEN ACCESS] | eYeka Co-creation Blog

  4. Howdy! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to
    give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your articles.

    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?
    Thanks a ton!

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