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Co-Creation's Next Act: A deeper partnership required
 

Co-Creation's Next Act: A deeper partnership required

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Though its novelty may have faded, "co-creation" remains a valuable technique for tapping into the creativity and talents of a brand's most fervent advocates. But for marketers seeking to grow their ...

Though its novelty may have faded, "co-creation" remains a valuable technique for tapping into the creativity and talents of a brand's most fervent advocates. But for marketers seeking to grow their business via co-creation efforts in the future, merely soliciting input is no longer enough. A more involved, authentic partnership is required to resonate with consumers of today and tomorrow.

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    Co-Creation's Next Act: A deeper partnership required Co-Creation's Next Act: A deeper partnership required Document Transcript

    • Paul Hanus Paul.Hanus@thefuturescompany.com January 31, 2012Co-Creation’s Next ActA deeper partnership is requiredThe Bottom Line Though its novelty may have faded, “co-creation” remains a valuable technique for tapping into the creativity and talents of a brand’s most fervent advocates. But for marketers seeking to grow their business via co-creation efforts in the future, merely soliciting input is no longer enough. A more involved, authentic partnership is required to resonate with consumers of today and tomorrow.At the Root A lack of goodwill and trust in A continuing desire for products A surge in self-reliance business “just right for me” 67% of consumers agree, “If the 74% of consumers believe that their 55% of consumers agree, “I wish I had opportunity arises, most businesses will chances of succeeding in today’s world more opportunities to customize take advantage of the public if they feel will be better served by “becoming as products to really fit my lifestyle.” (67% they are not likely to be found out.” 1 self-reliant as possible” (up from 64% among Millennials) in 2009) than by “seeking the help and guidance of experts or professionals.” 2
    • Telling the Story Not long ago, co-creation was widely viewed in the marketing community as the “next big thing.” The process, which encourages collaboration between consumers and companies in the generation of new products and marketing communication, was thought to be the ideal solution in a culture increasingly resistant to top-down, command-and-control brand management. It’s no wonder, then, that the likes of Starbucks, Mountain Dew, Doritos and others achieved high-profile successes using the technique. Yet, a few years after co-creation reached the mainstream, it’s clear that the energy and novelty originally associated with it have diminished. Why? For one, many companies have repeated the same basic approach time and time again; there are Curious about leading-edge trends? Ask your only so many times that an audience can help a company choose a new flavor, MONITOR contact for more information about packaging or advertisement before the level of excitement begins to fade. Perhaps Cultural Frequencies, The Futures equally important, though, is that the majority of co-creation efforts today are “co- Company’s report on this influential and created” in name only; in reality, a small contingent within the company still makes powerful segment of the marketplace. the majority of the decisions and the consumer is brought in later to “vote” or add minor pieces of input. It’s a scenario that is increasingly empty for today’s consumers, especially those on the “leading edge,” a majority of whom place a higher premium on self-reliance, autonomy and individualism. As we outline in Cultural Frequencies, our recently- released report on this group, leading-edge consumers have moved beyond wanting to provide brands with ideas, input and criticism and are increasingly expecting their relationships with brands to be more involved and truly collaborative. As such, for co- creation efforts to succeed in the future, it’s time for marketers to think of their customers less like “fans” and more like true business partners.Taking Action for Growth Start differentiating your co- Equip consumers with the creation initiatives now, not down Start investing in your consumers inspiration, skills and expertise the road they need If every brand continues to adopt co- The next model of co-creation will not As consumers continue to be more creation in some shape or form as part be about asking consumers to create engaged with and proactive about of their marketing efforts, expect more your ideas for you; it will be about regaining control of their future, self- criticism about initiatives that are too empowering them to have control. reliance will be a key aspiration. structured, or even worse, inauthentic. Consider selling your brand’s elements Consider a new way that consumers (rather than the finished product) or may rely on brands and provide creative providing consumers with the spaces where they can gather and infrastructure and materials truly to collaborate. create something from the bottom up.1 Source: 2011 Yankelovich MONITOR2 Source: 2011 Global MONITOR, US sample only © 2011 by The Futures Company