Co-creation: 'Welcome Stranger' Nuggets or 'fools' gold'?

With the explosion of unstructured alluvial information, increased globalisation and greater consumer demand for precious jewel customisation, the way in which companies mine for actionable 'gold nugget' insights is changing. Traditionally, companies either performed research and analytics tasks at an in-house quarry or outsourced the shovelling to a third party, writes Mark Wiggins

With the explosion of unstructured alluvial information, increased globalisation and greater consumer demand for precious jewel customisation, the way in which companies mine for actionable ‘gold nugget’ insights is changing. Traditionally, companies either performed research and analytics tasks at an in-house quarry or outsourced the shovelling to a third party, writes Mark Wiggins

Organisations that seek the "knowledge enterprise" grail are adopting ‘co-creation’ within their tent city. KPO Resources Industry analysts have worked themselves up into a feverish lather about ‘co-creation’. So what is ‘co-creation’?

Co-creation is the sharing of research, innovation, customer service and product development initiatives with engaged stakeholders inside and outside the corporate boundary: key executives, specialists, brand champions, engineers, customers, suppliers and advisers. This approach, sometimes referred to as ‘open innovation’ or ‘crowd sourcing’, catches all manner of viewpoints – both inside and outside the enterprise – to jointly originate, test and develop new strategies, products and market opportunities.

Here are four reasons why ‘co-creation’ is making waves and seismic tremors:

1. Customers’ opinions matter: No company in today’s competitive market can ignore the voice of the customer since the Internet enables the customer to control the conversation. Although the initial pre-occupation of brands has been with the tactical defence of reputation, co-creation offers the opportunity to bring brand advocates into the strategic decision-making loop;

2. Reducing redundancies: If something isn’t broke then don’t fix it. Therefore, by building on what exists, costs associated with product development and time-to-market can be substantially reduced. Co-creation substantially reduces bottlenecks;

3. Reducing failure rate. Approximately 80% of new product launches fail within two years. There are huge potential gains on offer for those brands prepared to invest in increasing the volume of quality inputs to planning processes;

4. New forms of competitive advantage: As products and services become increasingly commoditised, co-creation allows stronger differentiation against competition. When you learn faster from your customers and suppliers, a company’s ability to innovate for first-mover advantage is optimised. You can also use Co-creation to vacuum up ‘word-of-mouth’ referral gold dust in a, hitherto elusive, structured way.

The saying that ‘two heads are better than one’ is an apt distillation of the essence of ‘co-creation’. In fact, the yield from hundreds of heads can effectively complement traditional data analysis and the CMO’s ‘hand of faith’ eureka call.

In addition to bringing the right minds together on the right questions at the right time, KPO providers can help clients to pan for the best nuggets from the ‘free text’ opinion stream flowing forth from any given subject pool.

Is co-creation part of your strategy for finding nuggets in today’s information gold rush?