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Challenges of Co-creation, Within Organizations and Outside Organizations

From the Corante Innovative Marketing conference: We’ve just finished listening to a terrific presentation bby Burger King CMO Russ Klein (about which more later). We broke into groups to discuss co-creation….my group essentially raised a lot of challenges, such as:

From the Corante Innovative Marketing conference: We’ve just finished listening to a terrific presentation bby Burger King CMO Russ Klein (about which more later). We broke into groups to discuss co-creation….my group essentially raised a lot of challenges, such as:

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— How can you navigate co-creation in a culture where the customer experience is “owned” by more than one group? The person who raised this question called marketing departments the “most guilty” of this, of feeling as though they are the only ones who can truly understand customers and should own all customer co-creation initiatives.

— It seems to our group as though there are two ways to *do* customer co-creation. One would be to proactively seek customer input and ideas through specific projects and initiatives. The other would be to watch your customers’ behavior, by any means you already are connected with them, and react to it.

An example of the latter that was cited is Dunkin Donuts, which made use of their security surveillance tape to note that customers coming through the drive-through would pul off into a parking place briefly and then reverse and leave. It was discovered that these customers were pouring off a little of the coffee from their to-go-cups, which was too hot and filled too full.

— Challenge: How can you jump-start co-creation among customers of industries that customers traditionally don’t care anything about, such as banking? Banking seemed a really tough case, a product category that’s commodotized on both sides — the customers look at the banks as a necessary commodity and the banks seem to think the customers are commodities as well.

Ideas that came out of the overall discussion afterward:

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— Take advantage of co-creation opportunities that within your own organization (among teams, departments, divisions), as well as untapped opportunities for co-creation with your suppliers and others you do business with. Some companies are doing this well — IBM has “jams”, which are extended online dialoguies on specific subjects; A&E has a “next generation committee” that draws on all the capabilities within the organization to try to figure the future; others have various incentive programs to reward co-creation of value.

One final point — “We are always co-creating within organizations. We just need to understand what we’re doing and try to figure out how to get value from it.” (comment by blogger Johnnie Moore)

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