Digital technology, such as mobile devices has made it easier than ever for consumers to find similar products and services virtually at their fingertips. The increase in competition along with the fact that barriers of entry for new products are so low means it is vital that brands differentiate themselves.
With this in mind, what can brands do to keep in front of the competition? One way brands are getting ahead is through utilising co-creation.
The roots of co-creation
Traditionally, co-creation is an approach which involves brands working together with customers to create new products or services. According to the Harvard Business Review, brands that wish to transform themselves need to make use of the creativity of the individuals who will potentially purchase their products or services.
A study entitled ‘Co-creation and the new landscapes of design,’ published in CoDesign, found that using co-creation early on in the design process has ‘positive, long-range consequences.’ Co-creation has also been adopted throughout various stages of product development including product naming, customisation, packaging, and promoting.
Bringing co-creation into the client-agency relationship
Co-creation can be very effective in the client-agency relationship. Research performed jointly by the University of Michigan and Rutgers University focused on co-locating of teams and its affect on productivity. The research found that teams that worked within the same room doubled productivity and decreased the time to market by more than a third of the industry baseline.
By having agency staff and their clients work in a room together, requirements are more easily understood and changes can be made more expeditiously. Both sides have easy access to one another which encourages the sharing of ideas and learning. Communication is opened up and more immediate than in the traditional client-agency relationship. Additionally, tools and tasks are readily available and visible to everyone involved in the project.
Team learning research conducted by Amy C. Edmondson, James R. Dillion, and Kathryn S. Roloff from Harvard Business School found that working within a team expands organisation learning as well as task mastery. Key factors such as knowledge sharing, co-location, and common ownership promote learning improvement which, in turn, creates a team with a wider skill-set and abilities.
Download the report to find out more
Want to find out more about this topic? Are you interested in real world examples of companies that are getting it right? Would your company benefit from co-creation and co-location? Then download our Only Human report.