Forrester analyst Doug Williams writes about his research on the use of social media to co-create with consumers. An opportunity for consumer product designers that, he feels, is underutilized to a large extent.
… that 83% of companies use social media, but fewer than half of those have product teams that are currently using social media to influence product design, creation, or strategy. In that report, I also divulge that 72% of consumer product strategy (CPS) professionals claim that social media will enhance their existing capabilities of using customer input to shape product strategy.
The root of the problem is that most of those responsible for consumer product strategy are not sure if their consumers are willing to participate in co-creation. A survey was conducted to find out the willingness of US consumers to co-create with their favorite brands. More than half of those surveyed said that they would.
Here are some highlights from the survey published in the post.
•Sixty-one percent of US online adults are what I call “willing co-creators:” they would consider providing input to help companies design and build new products or improve existing products.
•A majority of willing co-creators would participate in a co-creation engagement regardless of the product, brand, or service involved — although we tend to think that the 30% who would only participate in co-creation efforts with their favorite products and brands might be more engaged and thus produce a better co-creation experience.
•In 12 of the 17 industries we specified, more than half of the willing co-creators expressed interest in co-creation engagements.
(Full report here.)
Co-creation is an extension of what is popularly known as crowd sourcing. While crowd sourcing tend to include large community driven programs like Wikipedia and Linux, co-creation is a much more niche business strategy to derive mutual benefit for the company and its consumers. A successful co-creation program can be extremely beneficial as it allows the company to come up with the product its consumers want without a large outlay for market research and product development.
A co-creation program was recently launched by Lays in India where they partnered with its consumers to create new flavors and opened up to the public to vote for the winning flavor. A perfect blend of social media and co-creation.
For more of co-creation, collaboration and crowd sourcing you should definitely read WIkinomics.
Update: A new post on the Forrester blog provides some more details from the research. Personal technology, home entertainment and small appliances and consumer packaged goods lead the interest industries for co-creation. Read more here.
[image: Flickr/Jacob Boetter]