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Why co-create with clients? Numerous studies reveal that almost one half of the products launched onto the market are unsuccessful. In this respect, co-creation with clientsis a very useful strategy to reduce this figure, as it allows your organization to know your consumers’ needs and concerns to such an extent that they truly participate in the creation of the products they wish to consume. For these reasons, co-creating with clients not only entails opening a window to their participation. Behind this, there must be coherence and order.

Diversity and disruptive thinking are some of the main advantages companies obtain when they open up to large audiences. But, to extract the best from the ‘wisdom of crowds’, one must guide the debate and contributions from participants. Ultimately, the idea is for the crowd to contribute ideas purposefully, such that they align with the goals set by the community.

Technology has given brands new tools to communicate and get to know their consumers.
Download the success story of Vicky Foods and co-creation here

How to drive a co-creation process with your clients

Before embarking on a co-creation project, you should–at least–determine three important issues:
1. Choose the channel where you will develop the co-creation process.
2. Choose your participants.
3. Determine your goals.

To select the group of participants, one should consider the following basic questions: what are you looking for through co-creation (resolve challenges through external talent, discover consumer habits, reinforce engagement…); who is part of the co-creation process; how does participation work in the process; and whydo they participate (what is their motivation). 

Regarding the channel, open innovation communities have become a digital meeting point for brands and large audiences, where they can co-create proposals. The following is a brief summary of some of the points to consider for a successful co-creation process through an innovation community:

 Communicate.
Communication within the community should focus on conveying your objectives to participants, thereby guiding their contributions. The language used should be simple and clear, and easily understood by all your audience. Messages should always be intelligible.
Communication through channels that are external to the community is also essential, as a way to promote participation in the community. In any case, there must be a desire to integrate, and this means inclusive communication will be key.

– Measure.
Communication is of little use if you don’t measure the results obtained with each action. This is essential in detecting community trends and finding out what is effective, and what is not. 

– Look after your corporate image.
Because they are open to large audiences, these communities are a visible place to showcase your organization’s reputation. This means that messages conveyed must be solid and aligned with your strategy. Also, these communities require certain regulation to avoid inappropriate behavior by users. 

– Stimulate participation.
Competitions are one of the basic resources to promote user participation. It is also important to establish reward mechanisms for participants, which can be material prizes, physical products, the offer of living experiences linked to the brand, or, for example, public recognition of a user’s activity and achievements within the community.

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This content summarizes one of the lessons in our online course "Innovation Community Management ". If you want to expand your knowledge about co-creation with clients, do so here.

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