The article explains how innovating with customers and other stakeholders to achieve co-creation of value requires companies to marry their collaborators' interests with corporate knowledge and resources. The process starts with setting objectives and proceeds through four additional steps: selection of arenas, engagement with collaborators, choice of project tools and processes and defining contracts with stakeholders.
The authors describe how leading firms have developed best-practice processes, tools and technologies to better enable and expedite value co-creation.
The article offers managers guidelines for deciding which customers to select for participation in specific co-creation programs. The choices are: Customers who have extraordinary passion for their brands; customers in attractive or untapped market segments; customers that exhibit a high co-creation potential; innovators and early adopters; lead users looking to develop solutions to solve their own needs.
Collaborative innovation projects need to define “What's in it for the collaborators?” Customer collaboration rarely operates independent of incentives.
The article offers practical guidance for companies that engage in co-creation projects because they want to them to foster the discovery of customer interest and value, which they can turn into innovation and competitive advantage.
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