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Customer community and co‐creation: a case study

Jennifer Rowley (Bangor Business School, University of Wales, Bangor, UK)
Beata Kupiec‐Teahan (Bangor Business School, University of Wales, Bangor, UK)
Edward Leeming (Bangor Business School, University of Wales, Bangor, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 3 April 2007




This paper aims to provide insights into the development and management of a customer community, informing product innovation and engaging customers in co‐creation of a consumption experience.


A review of the state of current knowledge about co‐production, co‐creation and customer communities is followed by discussion of the case study methodology. The case history of a leading player in the UK and international “sportkiting” market focuses on product innovation and customer‐community development. Discussion reflects in more detail on the lessons from the case for application of the principles in practice.


The case company's innovative product development strategy provides the catalyst for co‐creation of a customer experience. Its marketing actions extend beyond product development and innovation to actively co‐creating experiences with customers, fostering a sense of community among users, facilitating communication within that community, acting on the feedback, and continuously developing and maintaining the community relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The company's marketing strategy can be summed up as “customer community leadership”. This paradigm proposes a new role for businesses in sectors where there is a potential to develop and engage communities. It provides a context for the effective facilitation of customer knowledge management, within which marketing intelligence plays a significant role. The findings offer scope for further research into the nature of this phenomenon and its relevance to co‐creation in other industry sectors, and into numerous aspects of the processes and impacts associated with customer communities.


The case contributes to the literature of co‐creation, demonstrating how it has been achieved through a marketing strategy and marketing mix in a particular customer community.



Rowley, J., Kupiec‐Teahan, B. and Leeming, E. (2007), "Customer community and co‐creation: a case study", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 136-146.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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