Being able to express your opinion about a product, or even better be involved in its upgrade or creation of a new one is the dream of every customer.
The more customers realize their vendor is committed to listening, and delivering their requirements, the more they want to be involved in that organization. That is usually taking the form of customer co-creation.
Prahalad and Ramaswamy defined co-creation as “the joint creation of value by the company and the customer; allowing the customer to co-construct the service experience to suit their context.”
The traditional system of company-centric value creation is becoming obsolete. Leaders now need a new frame of reference for value creation. Competition is now centring on more personalized co-creation experiences, resulting in a value that is truly unique to each individual.
The role of the consumer has changed from isolated to connected, from unaware to informed, from passive to active. As a result, companies can no longer act autonomously, with no interference from consumers. Customers want to provide feedback and interact with firms and thereby co-create value. The co-creation experience of the consumer becomes the very basis of value.
Creating memorable brand experiences can set great brands apart from average and even good brands. Keeping the customers engaged will not only make them loyal customers, but also good brand ambassadors.
Co-creation is not a customer advisory board on steroids or a clever sales and marketing tactic. It’s about jointly creating value, for the vendor as well as customers” – Christine Crandell, president of New Business Strategies
In fact, the co-creators are the company’s product or service end-users. They are contributing to the creation of their own desired product or service. The priority is to be involved in the creation process is making then feel being part of the company. This personalized final product created by the customers is making this company unique and the best choice for the customers.
On the other side, these co-creators are usually people from different backgrounds. That helps the company make and offer the best possible product that will satisfy the needs of the majority of end-users.
Furthermore, co-creation is becoming a competitive imperative. Information revealing what the customer values is well spread through the information networks. If your company does not capture this intelligence to create more fulfilling experiences for consumers, your competitors will.
Co-creation is seen as the purposeful action of partnering with strategic customers, partners or employees. Ideate, problem solve, improve performance, or create a new product, service or business.
But most importantly, it is the strategy that enables to create engaged, loyal customers. Customers that will be prepared to promote your brand anytime, asking only their feedback to be heard in return.