Product development: Co-creation is here - we can't ignore it

Doron Meyassed, Philip Burgess and Priscilla Daniel

Doron Meyassed, Philip Burgess and Priscilla Daniel argue that co-creation is one of the most powerful, modern-day sources of competitive advantage. It's also one of the most misunderstood.

The major trends affecting the business environment — globalisation, the necessity of speed, the importance of innovation, the empowerment of consumers, aided by technological innovation - all support the increasingly strategic use of co-creation activities.

A recent IBM survey of 1,500 global CEOs concluded that 'the most successful organisations are those that co-create products and services with consumers and integrate customers into the core processes'. Last year, Business Week, 2 November 2010, proclaimed that co-creation is 'the second largest innovation trend happening today, right behind sustainability'. If you type co-creation into Google you get 27.5 million hits. Pull up Michael Porter's recent Harvard Business Review study and find him arguing passionately that the concept of shared value has the power to unleash the next wave of global growth.