Co-creation in practice: How to innovate with the help of consumers

Matthew Carlton

Co-creation was one of the themes of Eff Fest, a conference held by the IPA in London. Examples of successful collaboration between brands and consumers were analysed by Barry Clarke, the chairman of Wiki-Solutions, a company dedicated to co-creation and teamwork.

First to be highlighted was Threadless and the online t-shirt company's founder, Jake Nicholl. "Myth and fact are already blurring the Threadless story" said Clarke, "but in essence it's all about generating value from the creativity of others". The public are the designers – between 2,000 and 3,000 a week – who upload their designs to the Threadless site. The 2m members of the community then collectively rate the designs to determine the winners. Each winning designer gets $2,000 and Threadless produces 500 t-shirts for each selected design, selling them at $20 each with an estimated margin of 30%.