It is now far easier for businesses to engage and interact with their customers, and accordingly many businesses reach out to their customers for ideas generation and co-creation. With roots in consumer participation, collaboration and co-creation are about humanising and innovating the product development process. Co-creation strategies can deepen the understanding and future potential of products.


Collaboration and co-creation are the commercial practice of developing insights, brands, products and other forms of intellectual property or activity via collaboration with external consumers.

Key insights

1. The sharing economy takes co-creation further - to co-production

The sharing economy has turned some consumers into co-producers and created consumer co-production networks. Successful brands develop ways of marketing to these consumers and networks, not just the end consumer. Household production theory suggests three areas to target:

  • Utility – increasing the utility of the co-production activity to the consumer through rewarding creativity, empowerment, social interaction and public recognition
  • Time – finding and activating expert consumers likely to be effective at improving other customers’ experiences or providing valuable feedback or peer-to-peer support
  • Money – helping increase consumer income from co-production activities e.g. by lowering the expense of payment services