Monday, April 28, 2008

Co-Creation is the way forward

collectivization, originally uploaded by marisa zuk.

I have really been into the whole collective intelligence and the use of co-creation for a while. It sounds fantastic and makes sense but I am starting to see and hear of more and more great examples which make it more real. I was at the IPA Strategy debate today (I will write more soon) and heard of a few more. I think this is a really interesting way of what I call 'opening the ivory tower' that big companies seem to live in. So I thought I would list out a couple that I liked.

Starbucks: although I hate starbucks and their whole model. Supposedly some people do. So their input is starting to be heard at the company.

Incentive : is a program P&G developed in 2005 after the CEO stated in the future he wanted 50% of his innovation to come from outside the company. Supposedly 90,000 people are involved compared to the 7,500 they have in their R&D division world wide. It supposedly has made them launch 137 products. One of which is the international Olay Regenerist. I will try and find a website for it.

Dellideastorm: this is an interesting one that Dell created off the back of their issues with their batteries that started catching fire a few years back. This was a great way to turn the issue on its head and open up the company to comments and also innovation.

Legofactory: I was a great lover of lego as a kid. Also as I have grown older, I have started to gain a macho need to build something. So the great guys at Lego realised that the digital world was going to kill their business. So they asked the public for their help and the factory was built online. They have also used it to start building products that they are putting into stores as well.

I think this is a great one, as although online co-creation is awesome at this stage in its life cycle (for lack of a better word) you have to utilise it for the appropriate audience and appropriate reason. Teenage audience on myspace for this brand is perfect. Teenagers want to express themselves through their creativity... (reason why myspace is full of them) and also having their names on the actual products is a huge amount of 'egoboo' a term used in the social networking world. Which is when you boost a users ego.

So there are a few great examples of co-creation. There are a number of areas that make this interesting which are:
  1. Cheap research: having access to people at any time needed
  2. Cheap R&D: why pay for a number of experts when you can have thousands of people who dont do it for money
  3. Truly putting the consumer at the heart of the business
  4. Advocacy: the hawthorne effect that was highlighted in research that dates back to productivity in a factory in the 20's and 30's, highlighted that getting people involved in the process increased their appeal towards it because of the respect placed on their opinion. This is a great way to deliver advocacy of your brand
This is going to become more and more important for innovative companies but also great marketing companies as well. Get moving on it

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