- Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004) : co-creation, the locus of value creation and value extraction
"Informed, networked, empowered, and active consumers are increasingly co-creating value with the firm. The interaction between the firm and the consumer is becoming the locus of value creation and value extraction. As value shifts to experiences, the market is becoming a forum for conversation and interactions between consumers, consumer communities, and firms. It is this dialogue, access, transparency, and understanding of risk/benefits that is central to the next practice in value creation."
Instead of this, you have to consider a joint creation of value with (rather simply for) the customer : creating a space of dialogue for understanding customer experiences. Secondly, the problem definition and problem solving are shared between the two stakeholders, not the exclusive property of the firm. And finally, remember that the consumer will never be your product manager, but must be considered as a source of competence. But harnessing the competences of the consumer is not an easy task...
|Source : Prahalad C.K. & Ramaswamy V. (2004), Co-creation experiences: the next practices in value creation, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18, 3, 5-14.|
- Thomke &Von Hippel (2002) : co-creation with leading-edge customers
1. Develop a user-friendly tool kit (now, via an internet platform to create a virtual customer environment),
2. Increase the flexibility of the production processes,
3. Carefully select the right participants, prefer targeting leading-edge customers (ie. lead-user),
4. Evolve your tool kit continually and rapidly to satisfy your leading-edge customers,
5. Adapt your business practices accordingly.
"Traditionally, suppliers have taken on most of the work-and responsibility of product development. The result has been costly and time consuming iterations between supplier and customer to reach a satisfactory solution. With the customers as-innovators approach, a supplier provides customers with tools so that they can design and develop the application specific part of a product on their own. This shifts the location of the supplier customer interface, and the trial-and-error iterations necessary for product development are now carried out by the customer only. The result is greatly increased speed and effectiveness".
|Thomke S. et Von Hippel E. (2002), Customers as innovators : a new way to create value, Harvard Business Review, april, 80, 74-81.|
Co-creation is more than co-marketing, like viral or word-of-mouth marketing where customers are viewed as co-sales agents.