#5 Co-creation Communities - Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement


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This is the fifth report from our upcoming People's Insights Annual Report titled “Now & Next: Future of Engagement”, also available as a Kindle eBook and soon as an interactive iPad app. The report will highlight the ten most important frontiers that will define the future of engagement for marketers, entrepreneurs and changemakers: Crowdfunding, Behavior Change Games, Collaborative Social Innovation, Grassroots Change Movements, Co-creation Communities, Social Curation, Transmedia Storytelling, Collective Intelligence, Social Live Experiences and Collaborative Consumption.

In each of these reports, we start by describing why they are important, how they work, and how brands might benefit from them; we then examine web platforms and brand programs that point to the future (that is already here); then finish by identifying some of the most important features of that future, with our recommendations on how to benefit from them.

Do subscribe to our email newsletter to receive an invite to download a free copy of the interactive iPad app.

Find out more: http://peopleslab.mslgroup.com/peoplesinsights/future-of-engagement/
Get the Kindle eBook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D8ZZMDY

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#5 Co-creation Communities - Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement

  1. 1. 5. CO-CREATIONCOMMUNITIESPeoples Insights Annual ReportNow & Next:Future of Engagement
  2. 2. We are delighted to share that we will bepublishing the People’s Insights AnnualReport titled “Now & Next: Future ofEngagement” in February 2013 as aninteractive iPad app. The report willhighlight the ten most important frontiersthat will define the future of engagementfor marketers, entrepreneurs and changemakers: Crowdfunding, Behavior ChangeGames, Collaborative Social Innovation,Grassroots Change Movements, Co-creationCommunities, Social Curation, TransmediaStorytelling, Collective Intelligence,Social Recommendation and Social LiveExperiences.Throughout 2012, 100+ planners onMSLGROUP’s Insights Network have beentracking inspiring web platforms and brandprograms at the intersection of social data,citizenship, crowdsourcing and storytelling.Every week, we pick up one project andcurate the conversations around it — on theMSLGROUP Insights Network itself but alsoon the broader social web — into a weeklyinsights report. Every quarter, we compilethese insights, along with original researchand insights from the MSLGROUP globalnetwork, into the People’s Insights QuarterlyMagazine. Now, we have synthesized theinsights from our year-long endeavor in futurescanning as foresights into the future ofengagement.We believe, like William Gibson that, “thefuture is already here; it’s just not very evenlydistributed.” So, innovative web platformsin the areas of social data, citizenship,crowdsourcing and storytelling point towardsinteresting possibilities for brand programsthat leverage similar models to engagepeople. In turn, the web platforms and brandprograms of today give us clues to the futureof engagement tomorrow.In our reports on the ten frontiers that willdefine the future of engagement, we start bydescribing why they are important, how theywork, and how brands might benefit fromthem; we then examine web platforms andbrand programs that point to the future(that is already here); then finish by identifyingsome of the most important features of thatfuture, with our recommendations on how tobenefit from them.For the next ten weeks, we will publishthese reports one by one, then present themtogether, in context, as an interactive iPad app.Do subscribe to our email newsletter to receiveeach report and also an invite to download afree copy of the interactive iPad app.People’s Insights Annual Report
  3. 3. 3What are Co-creationCommunities?Source: ngmmemuda on FlickrBrands and peoplepartner to bring in a newrenaissance of creativity.Co-creation involves organizations,entrepreneurs, artists, experts and peoplecoming together people to create new artifactsincluding books, movies, music, art, software,products and solutions. Artists, entrepreneursand organizations benefit from the contributionsof community members, while contributorsshowcase their insights and creativity, and getrewarded in terms of recognition or prizes.The rise of co-creation can be attributed tothree broad trends. First, millions of peopleall over the world are expressing themselvesnot only by posting blogs, photos, and videos,but also by hacking software and hardware,and making art and craft. Second, people areincreasingly thinking of themselves as creators,showcasing their creations in online portfolios(Behance (video), deviantART, SoundCloud),and selling their creations in peer-to-peer onlinemarketplaces (Etsy, Cafepress, Zazzle (video),BandCamp, Lulu). Third, people are teachingeach other how to create things (Howcast,Instructables (video), Skillshare (video), Craftsy(video)), and learning by making things together,in online (DIY.org) and offline (MakerFaire(video) communities, often building uponeasy-to-use open-source kits (Arduino). AuthorPatricia Martin calls this cultural movement "TheRenaissance Generation".As a result, we are seeing a number of platformsfocusing on different aspects of co-creation.Threadless (video) invites its communitymembers to submit t-shirt designs in theme-based challenges. HitRecord invites artists toupload their creations, remix others’ creations,and participate in collaborative projects. Quirky(video) and Ahhha (video) invite wannabeinventors to collaborate with the communityto convert their ideas into products. Cut OnYour Bias (video) invites fashion enthusiasts tocollaborate with new fashion designers on theirupcoming collections. Other platforms, likeOpenIDEO (video), which we have covered in ourreport on collaborative social innovation, focuson bringing together businesses, governments,non-profits and changemakers to co-createinnovative and sustainable solutions around ashared purpose.In the public consciousness, co-creationcommunities are best known for the free user-created encyclopedia Wikipedia and the freeand open source operating system Linux,but they have also resulted in books (TheMongoliad,Business Model Generation), moviesSource: Threadless
  4. 4. (Life in a Day (video), Britain in a Day (video), OneDay on Earth (video), One Day in Venice (video),The Cosmonaut (video),CollabFeature (video)),music (Genetic Music Project) and art (The OneMillion Masterpiece).Some of these co-creation platforms andprojects have had significant impact. Forinstance, Threadless’s community of 2.3 millionmembers have submitted and voted on 260,000t-shirt designs and won $7.1 million in awards.National Geographic and YouTube received 4,500hours of footage in 80,000 submissions from192 countries for Life in a Day and the YouTubechannel has been viewed 34 million times.Typically, the platform owners, or their partnerorganizations initiate co-creation projects(Threadless, Cut On Your Bias, OpenIDEO, Life ina Day), but community members can also initiateprojects (HitRecord, Quirky). On many platforms,community members retain the right to their owncontributions, but winners usually give over theirrights for prize money, or licensing fees. In somecases, the initiators share the ownership of theproject by releasing it under a Creative Commonslicense.Most co-creation platforms enable communitymembers to submit contributions, activate theirsocial networks, and rate, vote and comment oncontributions. Some also provide gamificationfeatures like points and levels to encouragecommunity members to participate more(OpenIDEO, Quirky). A few platforms also enablecommunity members to collaborate with othersand form teams. Some platforms are morerestrictive, and only allow community membersto vote on options (Cut On Your Bias).Most co-creation platforms rely on challenges toattract contributors and encourage participation,so community members often end up competingwith each other. However, many co-creationplatforms incentivize community membersto support others’ contributions by rewardingthem with social influence (OpenIDEO) or cash(Quirky), or creating a culture of quid-pro-quocollaboration (Threadless).In essence, all co-creation communities aredesigned around four dynamics: connect,catalyze, crystallize, and celebrate. First,platforms need to connect community membersaround a shared interest so that they have acontext to engage with the platform and witheach other. Then, platforms need to catalyzeSource: Quirky.com/LearnSource: Life in a DayThe success of co-creation platforms likeThreadless shows that people don’t only desireto express themselves creatively, but they alsowant to create together with likeminded creators,in online and offline communities. Equallyimportantly, the success of co-creation projectslike Life in a Day shows that it’s possible to breakdown big creative endeavors, like making a movieor creating a product, into small tasks, inspirethousands of contributors to engage in the task,then aggregate the contributions back into ameaningful artifact.How do Co-creation Communitieswork?Co-creation communities can be classified acrossthree important dimensions: the relationshipbetween initiators and contributors, thepossibilities for participation, and the nature ofcollaboration.
  5. 5. 5contributions, often by running time-boundchallenges. Next, platforms need to synthesizethese contributions into meaningful artifacts andproducts. Finally, platforms need to celebratethe most powerful or popular contributions byrewarding them.Co-creation Communities forBrands“Consumers are beginning in a very real sense toown our brands and participate in their creation…we need to begin to learn to let go.”- A. G. Lafley, former CEO and Chairman of P&GBranded co-creation communities can beclassified into three models: branded challengeson niche crowdsourcing platforms, brandedco-creation challenge platforms, and ongoing co-creation communities.In the first model, brands run short-term publicor private challenges on niche crowdsourcingplatforms to tap into their specializedcommunities: designers, developers, animators,filmmakers, engineers, or scientists. Challengestypically have phases for entry submission,community voting, and selection of winnersby jury members. Creativity-driven challengesrelated to creative designs, branded videos andanimation films (Zooppa, PopTent (video), Tongal(video), Eyeka (video),MOFILM, Springleap,Talenthouse) are typically public, and winnersare often selected based on a combinationof community voting and jury judgment.Solution-driven challenges related to softwareapplications, product innovations, and businesssolutions (Top Coder, Kaggle (video), LocalMotors (video), Innocentive (video), Jovoto(video)) are sometimes private and winners aresometimes selected based on objective technicalcriteria.In the second model, brands create their ownco-creation challenge platforms to engage theircommunity members and crowdsource brandedvideos (Doritos Crash the Super bowl, PepsiHalftime (video), Tata Indica Xeta Shootout)and product innovations, including limitededition designs (Nescafe Dolce Gusto’s EuroDesign Contest, Citroen You Like It We Make It(video), Heineken Your Future Bottle (video),Nike ID (video)), new food and beverage flavors(Mountain Dew Dewmocracy (video), Lays Do Usa Flavor (video)), Domino’s Australia Social Pizza(video), McDonald’s Mein Burger (video), Lec IceCream), new product designs (Fiat Mio (video))and business solutions (GE EcomaginationChallenge (video), GE HealthymaginationChallenge, GE Imaging Innovation Challenge).Some brands host the challenge on nichecrowdsourcing platforms to tap into thecommunity, but also promote them on their ownbranded destinations (GE Quest (hospital video,flight video), Domino’s Ultimate Delivery Vehicle(video)). Other brands need to create their ownbranded destinations to provide sophisticateddashboards to community members to pickand choose product options to customize theirproduct (Nike ID, McDonald’s Mein Burger, FiatMio). Some challenges offer separate communityprizes based on community voting, and juryprizes based on jury selection, and some rewardcommunity members who offer constructivecomments and feedback with prizes.Source: JovotoSource: Fiat MioIn the third model, brands build and nurture theirown co-creation communities and encouragecontributions through a series of challenges(Heineken Ideas Brewery (video), Domino’sThink Oven)). The most successful of these co-creation communities, like Nike ID (video), notonly run a series of challenges but also createvalue for consumers between challenges, byenabling them to customize the products on anongoing basis. Other co-creation communities,like LEGO CUUSOO (video), rely on the almostunlimited passion of their brand fans to sustainengagement, and only need to regularly review
  6. 6. Source: lego.cuusoo.comIn 2011, LEGO opened up its Japanesecrowdsourcing platform CUUSOO to globalaudiences, inviting adults to submit and vote fornew LEGO product designs.Levent Ozler, editor-in-chief of Dexigner,summarized the process:“Ideas that are supported by 10,000 votes havea chance of being selected to become part of theLEGO Group’s product portfolio and sold in LEGOBrand retail stores and the LEGO online shop.Consumers who have their ideas chosen will earn1% of the total net sales of the product.”popular submissions, and launch them as newproducts. Several brands have invested heavilyin ongoing ideation platforms to co-create thebrand experience with their customers andlaunch product and process innovations basedon customer ideas (BarclayCard Ring(video), MyStarbucks Idea, Dell Ideastorm, Best Buy IdeaX).These communities rely less on challenges andrewards, and more on community engagementand customer support, to sustain participationfrom community members.Source: Nike IDSource:LEGO® CUUSOO Process and Summer Review ResultsCUUSOO’s 10,000 vote requirement helpsstreamline the crowdsourcing process. The IdeaConnection team noted:“Lego receives original ideas but is not weigheddown by too many which can be costly and timeconsuming to examine. And fan support canprovide some kind of indication of the potentialpopularity of a concept.”The fan-facing effort has challenged LEGO toincrease the speed of its product release cycle.Matthew Kronsberg, a writer at Fast Company,said:“Such an outpouring of [fan] interest would besquandered though, if that consumer desirewas left to wither through a traditional productdevelopment cycle. And this is where the second,and possibly more significant piece of the Cuusooendeavor comes into play: Lego Minecraft will gofrom concept to release in roughly six months,rather than Lego’s typical two- or three-yearprocess.”There are currently 3,787 live projects at LEGOCUUSOO. Three co-created products havebeen launched to date, and a fourth one is inproduction.All the three models need brands to incentivizecommunity members to submit and supportcontributions. Incentives can range from socialinfluence and gift cards on one extreme, to aSuper Bowl TV spot (Doritos Crash the Superbowl), a million dollars or 1% of net revenue (LaysDo us a Flavor), or a $10 million commercialcontract (GE Ecomagination Challenge).Co-creation Communities CaseStudiesThroughout the year, we have tracked theconversations around a number of brandedcocreation challengesin our weekly insightsreports and quarterly magazines; here are a fewhighlights.Branded program: LEGO CUUSOORead the full case study on our blog or onSlideshare
  7. 7. 7LEGO has launched several efforts to nurtureand enable a spirit of creation amongst adultsand children alike, with digital tools LEGO DigitalDesigner and LDraw, and social networks LEGOClub and ReBrick.Joren de Wachter, an IP strategy consultant,noted:“The genius of Lego is to embrace and share thatcreativity, rather than trying to own it.”Branded program: McDonald’sGermany Mein BurgerRead the full case study on our blog or onSlideshareBlogger Reuben Halper noted:“It’s all about the execution in this case asRazorfish created a compelling experience forusers to generate their own bespoke burgercreation. Perhaps more importantly, they alsoprovided the tools to for users promote theirburger creation and encourage their friends, aswell as the general public, to vote for the eventualwinners.”The five most popular burgers were featured inMcDonald’s TV commercials and served at 1,415McDonald’s locations in Germany for a weekeach.Online, 116,000 burgers were created, 12,000user-generated marketing campaigns werecreated and 1.5 million votes were cast. In reallife, the campaign set local benchmarks forpromo burgers sold, customers gained andrevenue raised.Source: Mein Burger Case StudySource: mcdonalds.de/mein_burgerTo celebrate its 40th anniversary in Germany,McDonald’s launched Mein Burger, a six-month-long crowdsourcing campaign that invitedGermans to make their own burgers online.People used a ‘Burger Configurator’ tool tochoose from 70 ingredients (bread, meats, sauce)to build their dream burgers, and to give thempersonalized names.Nidhi Makhija, member of the MSLGROUPInsights Network, pointed out that these namesserved as an outlet for creativity and acted ascontent pegs people could push out while askingfor votes:“It helps differentiate the crowdsourced burgerswithout having to scrutinize the ingredients. Theburger inventors can name their creations afterthemselves for an ego boost. And the comediansout there get to have some fun (someone evensuggested a “Mc Gyver” burger!).”People then gathered support from their socialnetworks using a DIY marketing tool kit fromMcDonald’s.In two years, more than 460,000 recipes werecreated and voted upon – an abundance of dataand insights for McDonald’s. The campaign hasbeen launched with adaptations in Austria, theNetherlands and Spain.
  8. 8. Source: Ideas Brewery – 60+ Challenge – BriefIn March 2012, Heineken launched IdeasBrewery, a platform through which the brandshares co-creation challenges and connects withconsumers. The first challenge asked people forideas on Sustainability, the second challengeasked people to Reinvent the Draught BeerExperience, and the third challenge asks peopleto share insights on the 60+ demographic.To participate in the Ideas Brewery challenges,people submit their elevator pitch online in theform of text, images or video.Raz Godelnik, a contributor at TriplePundit,wrote:“In Heineken’s contest, not only can everyoneaccess ideas…but they can also vote for theirfavorite ideas. Participants are also encouragedto promote their ideas via social networks, asnumber of votes is factored in to which ideas winthe contest.”A jury selects finalists who are invited to a co-creation workshop in Amsterdam to refine theirideas with Heineken experts and make their finalpitch. Then, three winners are announced andreceive a share of $10,000.Source: Ideas Brewery – Reinvent the Draught BeerExperience – WorkshopSource: ideasbrewery.com/IdeaFuture of Co-creationCommunitiesCo-creation challenges around crowdsourcingdesigns, videos and stories have alreadybecome the norm for adding a social mediacomponent to brand campaigns, and manycreators are becoming fatigued with them,forcing brands to support them with biggerpaid media budgets, more attractive prizes, andcelebrity endorsements. We foresee that, goingforward, the best way to run such challengeson a small budget would be to partner with aniche creative crowdsourcing community likeJovoto or MoFilm. We also expect such creativecrowdsourcing communities to specialize bycountry and language, with Neocha Edge inChina and Brandfighters in Netherlands beingearly examples.At the same time, we expect more brands to runhigher order co-creation challenges focused onproduct innovation and incentivize contributorswith a percentage of revenue (Lays Do Us aFlavor), and even create ongoing co-creationBranded program: Heineken IdeasBreweryRead the full case study on our blog or onSlideshareThe team at Coverstories highlighted the need toco-create designs and products with consumers:“For a company with consumer products itshould be regular way to work out new ideas.Whether public or a closed focus group, tappinginto real customer thinking can’t be wrongand offers a valuable reality-check on productdevelopment. In terms of InnovationManagement it is currently the most effective andproductive way to go.”
  9. 9. 9platforms to invite ideas from customers (DellIdeastorm) or enable customers to customizetheir products (Nike ID). We also expect third-party product innovation communities like Quirkyto create end-to-end new product developmentsolutions for brands, beyond ideation.Author Nilofer Merchant lists co-creation as oneof the 11 Rules for Creating Value in the SocialEra:“More and more companies embrace consumersas “co-creation” partners in their innovationefforts, instead of as buyers at the end of a valuechain. Consumers, traditionally considered asvalue exchangers or extractors, are now seenas a source of value creation and competitiveadvantage. This collaboration shares powerbetween the participants as we start to recognizevalue creation as an act of exchange, not simply aone-way transaction. As an exchange, all partiesneed to do it sustainably as each must haveequilibrium to stay viable.”We also expect that more organizations willfollow PepsiCo’s example in replicating co-creation best practices across brands (MountainDew Dewmocracy, Doritos Crash the Superbowl, Pepsi Halftime) and countries (Lays DoUs a Flavor), and run them over multiple years(Doritos Crash the Super bowl, Lays Do Us aFlavor) to maximize the benefit from them.Even as white label co-creation solutions likeMSLGROUP’s People’s Lab, Brightidea andSpigit mature, we expect more players to enterthe markets with niche offerings. Some of themwill specialize in platform-specific co-creationapps (like Napkin Labs for Facebook), whileothers will specialize around use cases (likeproduct customization). We also expect moreniche crowdsourcing communities like Zooppaand Innocentive to offer specialized white labelsolutions for brands to host both short-term andlong-term co-creation communities.Finally, we also expect crowdfunding platformslike Kickstarter to differentiate themselves byadding features and incentives to encouragecommunity members to not only fund projects,but also co-create them.
  10. 10. Learn more about us at:peopleslab.mslgroup.com | twitter.com/peopleslabPeople’s Lab is MSLGROUP’s proprietarycrowdsourcing platform and approach thathelps organizations tap into people’s insights forinnovation, storytelling and change.The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platformhelps organizations build and nurture publicor private, web or mobile, hosted or whitelabel communities around four pre-configuredapplication areas: Expertise Request Network,Innovation Challenge Network, Research &Insights Network and Contest & ActivationNetwork. Our community and gaming featuresencourage people to share rich content, vote/comment on other people’s content andcollaborate to find innovative solutions.The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platformand approach forms the core of our distinctiveinsights and foresight approach, which consistsof four elements: organic conversation analysis,MSLGROUP’s own insight communities, client-specific insights communities, and ethnographicdeep dives into these communities. The People’sInsights Quarterly Magazines showcase ourcapability in crowdsourcing and analyzinginsights from conversations and communities.People’s Lab:CrowdsourcingInnovation & Insights
  11. 11. Write to us to start a conversation on the future of engagement.:Pascal Beucler,SVP & Chief Strategy Officer(pascal.beucler@mslgroup.com)Janelle Dixon,North America Head of Insights(janelle.dixon@mslgroup.com)Dominic Payling,Europe Head of Insights(dominic.payling@mslgroup.com)Gaurav Mishra,Asia Head of Insights(gaurav.mishra@mslgroup.com)mslgroup.com | twitter.com/msl_groupMSLGROUP is Publicis Groupes strategiccommunications and engagement group,advisors in all aspects of communicationstrategy: from consumer PR to financialcommunications, from public affairs toreputation management and from crisiscommunications to event management.With more than 3,700 people, its offices span22 countries. Adding affiliates and partnersinto the equation, MSLGROUPs reachincreases to 4,000 employees in 83 countries.Today the largest PR and Engagementnetwork in Europe, Greater China and India, thegroup offers strategic planning and counsel,insight-guided thinking and big, compellingideas – followed by thorough execution.