The new competitive advantage: learning to co-create with customers

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



Randall, R.M. (2004), "The new competitive advantage: learning to co-create with customers", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 32 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The new competitive advantage: learning to co-create with customers

This issue heralds the advent of new strategic management paradigm – a strategy of companies co-creating unique value with customers. To provide readers with multiple perspectives on both theory and practice, we offer three articles and one conference report.

  • In "Co-creating unique value with customers" by C.K. Prahalad and Venkat Ramaswamy, the originators of the theory describe their concept and the DART model that underlies it. The future of competition lies in this altogether new approach to value creation, based on an individual-centered co-creation of value between customers and companies, say these internationally known Michigan professors.

  • In "Partnering with the customer", S&L contributing editor Brian Leavy describes the intellectual context for the new theory of how companies can co-create unique value with customers. He foresees that the implications of co-creation of value are enormous, and already visible to those who know where to look.

  • In "When co-creating value with a customer goes wrong" S&L contributing editor Alistair Davidson warns that companies must learn new practices to effectively co-create value with customers. His brief case describes his frustration with cell phone provider, Sprint, a company that has pioneered some customer relationship marketing practices that allow customers to customize their service, thus making it more valuable.

  • In his conference report "Co-creating unique value with customers: a novel approach to competitive advantage" S&L contributing editor Stan Abraham takes readers to the Association for Strategic Planning's Third Annual Conference, where Dr C.K. Prahalad walked strategists and executives through his new thesis.

It's exciting to think about the implications of this new theory and to have the opportunity to introduce such a fascinating way of doing business to readers. And new it is, though its roots can be traced to a number of creative strategic management concepts that preceded it, mass customization being an important one that comes to mind. My thanks to the various members of the editorial team at S&L who teamed up to present the concept of co-creating value in a useful and interesting way and to other contributing editors who worked diligently on articles on other topics in this issue. Kudos to editor/authors in this issue: Brian Leavy, Stan Abraham, Alistair Davidson, Robert Allio, Catherine Gorrell, and John Sterling, and to editor/reviewers Joe Pine, David Rader, and Sam Felton.

Robert M. RandallEditor

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