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.
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