“There are always more smart people outside your company than within it.” - Bill Joy
Imagine having a customer as the head of your next new product development project! Odd? Well, businesses are learning to be proactive in their strategies by finding better ways to make the customer own a product and become part of your business. Handling complaints very well and meeting customers' expectations wouldn’t guarantee loyalty, after all every business ensures that. Businesses have moved from handling complaints and meeting expectations to co-creating a product or service with customers; putting the power of innovation in the hands of the customers - If they will use it, let them create it.
In the past, everything about product development was done within an organisation and then given to customers to buy. Today that orientation is changing. Companies now want to get the customers involved in product development by allowing their creative instincts to guide the design process of any product or service. This makes the companies and customers business partners and a winning team.
It is important to note that co-creation is not 'being consumer centric' or 'consumer engagement' or inclusion - All these only incorporate consumers concerns into an existing product. However co-creation allows your customers to play the lead role in designing products hence driving innovation in your business. This strategy is not about asking what the customers want and then creating it for them - NO! It is about allowing customers create the product or service that they truly want in partnership with your business.
Co-creation is changing the way organisations respond to innovation and development. The orientation of value creation has always been dominated by company's creative minds. However, in business today, open innovation has shown that customers are creative as well, and they can drive innovation. Hence, giving them an opportunity to explore their creativity will move your Products and services from company-made to customer-made. Are you giving your customers the opportunity to lead innovation in your business?