In the past companies wanting to produce products that met customer needs would have undertaken primary research via focus groups or consumer surveys. However, the emergence of co-creation strategies are gaining ground. We have taken a look at this and are providing a view with regard to marketing in Gloucestershire and the South West.
SO WHAT IS CO-CREATION? TELEGRAPH REPORT 2018
According to a Telegraph report in 2018, this is where companies bring stakeholders into the innovation process in order to remain relevant in constantly changing markets. Today, as immediate customer feedback is obtainable and competition can be monitored in real time, organisations from all sectors must look at new methods to stay ahead. Hence, when innovating to survive, wise companies use collaboration – sharing and developing new products and services by bringing stakeholders into the innovation process. This is in response to today’s customer expecting a different and more engaged type of relationship with their suppliers. In its article, The Telegraph refer to a report from Hitachi Europe which found that 58% of businesses have piloted co-creation projects to help them to innovate, with 51% of respondents saying that co-creation has improved their financial performance. This trend is likely to continue with the rise of mobile technology and the internet of things – both facilitating easier access to data in real time and collaboration more feasible on a daily basis.
SOUTH WEST CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF MARKETING – THE MIKE WARNE EVENT – THE POWER OF CO-CREATION
In a recent post (12 March 2019), reporting on the above event, various key speakers gave valuable insights from their own experiences to illustrate how co-creation is very much on the rise within marketing in the area. In the presentations of the three speakers it was apparent that increasingly consumers are engaging in a dialogue with brands to the extent that they are becoming involved in creating their own content. Charlie Leaver of Global Brands stated how their brands now have passionate advocates across many different demographics. Mike Hawkyard of Gamebrain used his own experiences to illustrate how co-creation can work as a real positive for those developing digital games and apps.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE GROWTH HUB – EXAMPLE OF A FOOD AND DRINK SECTOR BUSINESS USING CO-CREATION
Looking at our own specialist sector and Gloucestershire’s innovative businesses, The Gloucestershire Growth Hub has recently staged a county wide competition for the ‘best of the best in food and drink’ in conjunction with Midcounties Co-Op and Hartpury College. Reporting on this included the finalist, Fitbakes Ltd, a company producing a new, low sugar cake range made in Gloucestershire and pioneered by entrepreneur Ella Rauen-Prestes. Fundamental to securing a deal with Selfridges (amongst others) was the company’s attention to working with influencers on Instagram in building up follower numbers (23,000) but also taking the co-creative approach further by quickly changing the developing range of products in direct response to feedback from influencers and customers. This confirms the use of real time data collection (which is important to co-creation strategies) and the importance of active stakeholder engagement in driving innovation and product development.
OUR TAKE ON CO-CREATION
As Food and Drink specialist marketers we fully recognise the importance of digital communications and have encouraged our clients to use social media to spur customer engagement (co-creation), particularly when developing new products or adding to their ranges. For example, we have recommended competitions in which entrants suggest new flavours or uses. We have also encouraged the use of personal e.mail communications to discover preferences when developing new business models.
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