The internet has become a powerful platform for leveraging the creativity of consumers. Community tools like Reddit post innovative product “hacks” that add usefulness or value to items they have purchased. Comment threads and product reviews give valuable insights into how the market perceives products, services and the companies that provide them. Now, crowdfunding sites can let excited consumers get in on the ground floor of product development, becoming investors and sometimes even contributing to the development cycle.
This same potential for creativity and collaboration can be channeled by brands with incredible results. By moving discussions off of random, public forums, participants and moderators together can focus on generating specific, actionable insights. These contributions drive the value and enjoyment of the eventual product or service and, as a bonus side, the contributor feels a tenacious affinity towards the product they helped create. In this way, co-creation becomes not just a way to anticipate market demands, but also a way to generate brand advocacy.
Examples of How Co-Creation Has Catapulted Businesses’ Success
More brands are currently using co-creation than most people realise. Rather than being some sort of niche market sector, the concepts used in co-creation are the very foundations of many business models.
A broad example would be the world’s top furniture seller, IKEA. They are able to market their products with deep discounts because the end-consumer has an intrinsic role in the way the goods are made available for use. While the customer has no hand in designing the product, they pick up the unassembled furniture and transport it themselves to later assemble it in their own homes. By taking the brand’s place at the final end of the product delivery cycle, customers are able to save up to hundreds of dollars and have a lasting appreciation for their furniture, dubbed “the IKEA effect.”
Other companies use customer preference responses to inform major decisions at the inception level of products. The Fiat car company allowed users to come up with wish lists of features they would like to see on their Fiat 500 model. Ford and Toyota use similar community feedback to gain insights into the wants and needs of their market base. Best of all, people who participated in these collaborative activities were apt to broadcast their participation over social media.
Why So Many Brands Are Embracing Co-Creation
Put simply, co-creation takes a lot of the guesswork out of product/service development, branding efforts or promotional ideas. Businesses can use their own in-house discussions to leverage the creativity of a massive user base. With the free flow of ideas, innovations can come faster and with more scope than ever before. These developments help reduce costs as well as risks — the more you know about what your consumer base wants out of a product, the less surprises you’ll have once the product is released.
Using this amazing process, brands can rapidly bring new ideas to the market and have more agile responsiveness to evolving market demands. All of this potential comes with little cost thanks to the enthusiasm of volunteers or people with low-level compensation, all with the added benefit of increased customer affinity and ambassadorship.
GroupQuality can facilitate co-creation efforts with online community tools that are secure, engaging, simple to set up and customizable to your brand’s needs. All responses are captured automatically in our text-based qualitative data tools, which can be later used to generate robust analytics and actionable qualitative insights. Take a look at our online community discussion board product page and consider our online insight services to learn more about how we can help you tap into the raw power of your customers’ ingenuity.
Ever thought about harvesting insights from your Facebook and social communities? Then check out this article and learn how its done >
GroupQuality® is a cloud based customer feedback and insights software and service that helps you capture consumer insights, in less time, on smaller budgets and with fewer resources. If you need a fast and flexible tool to engage customers, employees and partners, to communicate, collaborate, ask questions and quickly capture the answers, then we are for you!
This article first appeared @ groupquality.com/blog