Co-creation with consumers: who has the competence and wants to cooperate?

Eric Vernette and Linda Hamdi-Kidar

University of Toulouse I Capitole


Co-creating products and services with customers and/or consumers is a major challenge for marketing managers (Roberts et al. 2005; Maklan et al. 2007; Roberts & Adams 2010). The massive use of the internet, and the development of online communities, interactive platforms and toolkits offer the potential to co-create with a large number of customers or consumers (Prahalad & Ramaswamy 2004; Piller & Walcher 2006; Füller 2010). The largest companies, such as Apple, SAP, Nestlé, Lego and Orange, have developed such strategies successfully (Ramaswamy & Gouillart 2010). This strategy of value co-creation may take place upstream and/or downstream of the new product/service’s launch on the market. Upstream co-creation concerns the consumer’s innovating potential during the new product/service development; it comprises programmes such as Dell’s ‘Idea Storm’. Downstream co-creation concentrates rather on the consumer’s personal consumption/brand experience; this is the case, for example, with Starbucks when it asks its clients: ‘Share your story’.