A recent article I read introduced me to the idea of greater value creation by businesses partnering with their customers called co-creation. According to the article, “co-creation adds a new dynamic to the producer/customer relationship by engaging customers directly in the production or distribution of value.” In the Internet age, with social media and other customer-relationship management platforms on the web, businesses are now able to listen directly to their customers needs and improve their products and services accordingly. This partnership, in essence, benefits both parties.
Quirky Crowd Invention
One young man “distributed the power of influence” by asking the world to submit their new product ideas, and Quirky will select one and make it become a reality. Newly graduated from high school, he founded Quirky, an organization whose core relies on the idea of product co-creation. Watch this short video from Ben Kaufmen himself, explaining this concept.
Here is Pivot Power, a bendable power strip that is the most successful Quirky products ever sold, with 495,436 sold from around the world.
Benefits of Co-Creation in New Product Development
- Improves product quality
- Reduces risks upon introduction into the market
- Increased market acceptance
- Relationship-building, customer engagement and satisfaction
- Secrecy concerns
- Information Overload
- Production infeasibility
- Increased customer expectation: This networked world increases customer expectation of company’s offerings.
- The Crowd-sourcing effect: With increasing technological advances, the barriers that once existed that set professionals’ work apart from amateurs are being broken down. This is because of the networking power of people. It’s almost like outsourcing, except that the general public/businesses can now essentially “buy” cheap labor off of networks of “hobbyists” posting their work on public sites for near-to-no cost. This is severely decreasing professionals’ profits whose business relies on selling their work to other professionals/companies.
So, what do you think?