A new kind of solicitude: Co-creation with customers

We delve into the rise of customer co-creation and how it’s transforming innovation at brands

Your customers will have the ultimate say in the future of your products and services when they decide whether or not to buy them. So why wait until the last minute to involve them in the design process?

The desire to engage customers earlier and more intimately in product and service creation is one of the hottest trends in marketing today. It has given rise to the concept of co-creation, where customer feedback is solicited right from the beginning to create outcomes that are more meaningful for customers.

According to the UK-based customer insight expert, Ray Poynter, at the heart of the co-creation concept are two realisations: Firstly, that there are more smart people outside an organisation than inside; and secondly, that all of the easy stuff companies used to differentiate on has been done before.

“It is very hard now to have products, logistics capabilities or services that are fundamentally better than somebody else’s,” Poynter claims. “So brands are beginning to say ‘we need to work with our customers to give them exactly what they want, and find out how they should be using it’, and create a product or a service that matches their customers.

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