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4 Tips for Successful Customer Co-Creation

Kevin Lonnie shares his best practices in customer co-creation.

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Editor’s Note: This post is part of our Big Ideas Series, a column highlighting the innovative thinking and thought leadership at IIeX events around the world. Kevin Lonnie will be speaking at IIeX North America (June 13-15 in Atlanta). If you liked this article, you’ll LOVE IIeX NA. Click here to learn more.

By Kevin Lonnie

One of the central tenets behind successful co-creation is to fail early and often. The idea is to keep moving iteratively towards a successful solution.

That said, it’s preferable to start closer to the solution in the first place, so the ramp up between multiple failures and ultimate success is reduced.

With that in mind dear reader, I would like to share four tips towards successful customer co-creation.  Tips that I have earned through my own “extended” learning curve that I am happy to share with you now:

  1. With increasing pressure to demonstrate ROI out of the research function, customer co-creation provides an opportunity to boost the odds of a successful product introduction.  But be very selective and wait for the perfect opportunity.  Find some low hanging fruit, where nothing has worked particularly well in a long while.  Aim for the fences but protect yourself by keeping expectations low.
  2. To inspire collaboration in a co-creation environment, make gamification a central tenet to the experience.  For example, have participants work together during certain activities to earn participation rewards.  This inspires them to work together, but also appeals to their sense of competition, so they are willing to collaborate and work together to earn more points and fully compete. 
  3. Don’t just settle for brainstorming.  Bring together your internal team, integrate customer inspiration and in a short sprint, actually build something!  Keep your time commitments short and build something actionable on a shoestring budget.  Fast, cheap and actionable is music to procurement’s ears!
  4. If you want customer co-creation to take root in your company, it’s critical that your internal clients are active participants in this agile process. Assure them that customers will inspire & focus their creativity.  This way, the customer is viewed as a friend and not as a threat to their authority.  NEVER underestimate the combined powers of inertia & internal politics.

Interested in hearing more about best practices in customer co-creation and ways to maximize success in your organization?  We’ll be hosting a workshop Tuesday (June 14th) at IIeX along with a few of our clients who will share their tips (A.KA. War Stories) on introducing customer co-creation within their respective organization.

lonnie_imaegAnd if you would like to do some reading on co-creation before IIeX, I recommend “Sprints, how to Solve Big Problems And Test New Ideas In Just Five Days.”

The book is written by a team from Google Ventures.  Check it out and see if it doesn’t stimulate your thinking on leading collaborative sprints in your organization.

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One Response to “4 Tips for Successful Customer Co-Creation”

  1. Ulf Kuhn says:

    June 2nd, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Haha, funny, I bought Sprints when I saw it lying on your table 🙂

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