Co-creation and innovation – the ‘we’ experience

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Over the next few days I’m going to be posting some great examples of co-creation that we’ve come across at FreshNetworks and some thoughts on what makes for good co-creation: Co-creation Series:

The real prompt for this is that we’ve been talking a lot about ‘we’ at FreshNetworks over the last few weeks. Across the team we seem to be helping quite a few client with co-creation and innovation at the moment - getting their customers to input into or lead innovations in everything from the position and marketing of a B2B telecommunications product to improving and tailoring experiences for a leisure client.

The concept of ‘we’ is one that intrigues me. There is an undoubted power to ‘I’. People like hearing personal stories and experiences, and we see in our online communities that such stories can get better reactions and greater responses. However, the power of ‘we’ is greater - people collaborating on an idea or innovation, working with each other to further improve and advance the previous thought.

Iterating and refining an idea is one of the best ways of bring in different view-points and peer reviewing the concept as it develops. We find that getting brands involved in this process can be illuminating - for the consumer, the brand and the idea. Good innovation and co-creation comes from getting people with different skills, experiences and understanding of the product or brand together. They each add something to the process and can bring their expertise and experience to the subject.

One of the best introductions to the ‘we’ experience that I’ve seen comes from Marieke Schoenmaker. The slides below are a great introduction to the subject, and the case studies at the end of the deck (including Nike+ and Zopa) are world-leading examples of the power of we.

  • Ignore the Consumer?
  • So How Do You Measure ROI of Online Communities?
  • Nike’s Branded Storytelling Showcases Innovation
  • Social Media + Company = Are you ready to innovate?
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One Comment

  1. Hampus Landelius:

    Nice conclusions! We wrote an article with some critique towards previously academic work and the absense of co-creation in modern branding theory.

    http://theonlyconstant.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/let’s-all-join-hands-making-the-co-creation-of-brands-consumer-inclusive/

    /Hampus