Be honest, are you still practicing the traditional ‘active firm – passive consumer’ concept? If so, stop now. Start harnessing the power of consumer co-creation with the collective creativity and experiences of those who actively use your products or services.
In your case, partnering with your consumers in the creation of value can mean greater product variety and an incredible extension of your brand.
The more we rely on the Internet and social media platforms for hosting social engagements with our audiences, the more we understand the role of our consumers. Still, at this point, the battle is only half won. Until a brand can begin innately interpreting how their consumers engage in co-creation, its product development process will continue to connect product-to-consumer, instead of consumer-to-product.
1. A New Dimension of Interaction
The evolving fronts of brand-consumer interaction have no doubt helped inspire how your products or services are presented to your audiences. But how much of this interaction has contributed to the expansion of your brand or brand category? Individual areas of consumer co-creation can help you elicit reactions and responses from you audience that promote action and innovation on the brand’s end.
Harnessing the potential of co-creation as a new dimension of interaction can also help you bring about a new reality for a specific product or service your brand has offered for some time. Consumer suggestions for improvements or innovations will give you a competitive advantage in how you respond to the unmet needs of your target market. Also, it’ll help you start solving new consumer problems and tap into the more advanced measures of the co-creation process.
Co-creation starts with understanding the role of your consumers and ends with connecting these consumers to the products/services you create.
2. Consumers ARE Creative
Consumers will never be entirely satisfied with the products or service choices they currently have at their disposal. And, for that reason, they are constantly coming up with new ideas for how these small areas of unmet needs can be addressed. These ideas are generally expressed in the form of unconscious suggestions, feedback, and emotions towards a particular product of service. By listening to these opinions and feedback, and placing them at same level of importance as your internal value creation processes, your brand will have greater access to what needs to take place to not only satisfy these consumers, but gain a competitive advantage through co-creative practices.
3. Consumer Involvement keeps Consumers inside the Purchasing Funnel
Your brand must be prepared to change in response to how and why its consumers are making their purchasing decisions. The moments that most influence your audiences’ buying decisions will be the ones in which they are considering how their needs will be met in regards to the features and benefits offered by a specific product. Real-time access to such information through co-creation initiatives will help you stay in complete control of the touch points in which your consumers are open to influence.
In 2013, your brand will not be able to sophisticate its value creation processes without some level of consumer involvement. In this practice, everyone benefits; your consumers will become more informed and your brand will become skilled at navigating its market and the environment that comes with it. Remember, consumer choice is constantly being influenced by access to diverse media, print, and digital channels.
The experience of co-creation can produce amazing results for your brand. With even the smallest bouts of consumer creativity, you can upgrade your brand’s conventional methods of value creation to help reshape how you approach your audience, build co-creative initiatives around their ideas, and bring your next product to market.