Co-creation – a new way of innovating with consumers

Andrew Needham

It is no secret that the past 20 years have seen a major decline – some would say the slow death – of corporate and brand innovation, but the debate about why, and what needs to be done about it, is very much alive.

Some, such as Doug Hall, speaking at the Marketing Society's Innovation Masterclass at the end of last year, argue that consumers have much to answer for. And he doesn't seem to be alone. In an interview with Research magazine, Drayton Bird argued that he doesn't want market research to come and tell him what people think because 'people don't bloody well know what they think themselves'. A stance, he reminds us, taken by ad agency Leo Burnett, which decreed 'The public does not know what it wants.' The argument was repeated at Marketing Week's Innovation Summit a few weeks ago, when a number of brand owners quoted Henry Ford's remark: 'If I'd asked the public they would have said they wanted a faster horse.'