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In recent years many companies have
experimented with getting their customers
actively involved in their innovation process.
This type of collaboration is called ‘co-
Our clients often ask us about co-creation.
With this presentation we want to inform you
about co-creation and about how you could
put it into practise. We made an overview of
the five types of co-creation and identified
the three critical success factors.
What is co-creation?
Co-creation is involving your customers or end-users in one or
more stages of the innovation process. After all, a profound
insight in the needs of your customers and users is crucial to create
successful products and services that create added value.
Co-creation is a real collaboration with your customers, by really
letting them share their thoughts and ideas about your future
products or services.
This could vary from involving your customer in the first stage of
generating new ideas, to involving them in the final phase of your
product or concept development.
Co-creation has the following benefits:
• It makes your organisation more customer-oriented.
• It improves the relationship with your customers.
• It increases the success rate of new innovations.
11. Co-creation workshops
Specific users (preferably so-called ‘lead users’) are involved in
brainstorm sessions to generate ideas or involved in concept
workshops to enhance ideas. Co-creation workshops are especially
suitable to gain more insight in the needs of your customers or to find
ideas that are relatively easy to implement on short or middle long
You define a question or problem for a large audience and offer a reward for
'the winning idea’. The interaction with the customer is minimal, since the
ideas are developed by the customer themselves.
Crowdsourcing is applicable in three situations:
You have a concrete (technical) problem for which you want a
solution. A good example is the “Connect + Develop” programme
You are looking for inspiration through new ideas that will
expand your employees’ views. A good example is Elektrolux,
who annually organise a successful contest for students.
You want to generate a lot of free publicity around an upcoming
product. You promise that the winning idea will be brought to market.
Examples are the HEMA design contest, and the T-shirt maker
Threadless who’s entire business model is based on co-creation.
33. Open source
A (large) number of volunteers are actively involved in development
and maintenance of a product. Open source is often applied with the
development of software. It is very suitable if you want to set a new
Examples of successful products are Linux and Firefox. Also the non-
profit organisation Creative Commons stimulates this type of co-
creation with great success.
44. Mass customisation
Customers can design their own product within the framework you
define. This generally means that a customer can select different
shapes, colours or materials for the product parts. This makes him
willing to pay a premium price for the product. Mass customisation
can accomplish a lot for your brand and positioning, and it can turn
your customers into ambassadors.
Examples of successful products for mass customisation are NikeID
and Lego Factory.
55. User-generated content
Customers create their own ‘products’ that they share through your
system or platform. User-generated content is especially suitable for
digital products and services. If you can create the right platform, it will
spread rapidly and your platform can even become a brand on it’s
Examples are YouTube, LinkedIn, Slideshare, Flickr and the
numerous blogs on the Internet.
Three critical success factors for co-creation
1. Don’t be afraid to share information.
There is direct relationship between the amount and the
value of the information you share and the value of it and
the ideas you get in return.
2. Be honest to (potential) customers.
A customer can remarkably sense whether you are telling
truth or not. Honesty from your side will be rewarded with
honesty from the customer.
3. Be sincerely interested.
When a customer feels you are sincerely interested in his
or her opinion, every question will be answered and you
will have access to a wealth of information and ideas.
What SunIdee can do
SunIdee can help you determine the right co-creation approach for
your organisation, find the right participants, organise co-creation
workshops and guide the process of implementing co-creation
processes in your organisation.
With our customised innovation tools we offer an inspiring co-
creation process with clear objectives in mind. Like to know more?
Contact us for more information.
The bright way to innovate!
For more information, please contact us:
1017 JX Amsterdam
Sanne de Koning
t: +31 (0)20 6244291