When It Pays To Listen To Users…And When It Doesn’t

Posted on November 16, 2013 by Matthew E May

Co-creation–companies and customers creating experiences, new products and services together–is a way of life with among the most innovative companies, and few would argue that co-creation is beneficial.

And there’s plenty of research showing that under the right circumstances and conditions customers and users can develop innovations which are both novel and have greater value for the users that what the company’s own developers come up with. Still, there hasn’t been overwhelming agreement on the how and why of it all.

A recent study by Anders Gustafsson at BI Norwegian Business School and Karlstad University in Sweden demonstrates that profitable co-creation with customers centers on the nature of the communication and interaction between the company and its customers.

The researchers were after answers to two questions: How should companies communicate with their customers? When is it profitable to listen to what they say?

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Customer Co-creation!

Power of Crowd is in Co-Creation, Not Crowdsourcing

The term “Crowdsourcing” and the use of the crowd continues to evolve. Initially, most forms of crowdsourcing were based on cost savings measures. Essentially, firms could outsource manpower (e.g. Amazon Turk) or even its inventory (e.g. Stock Photo firms like ShutterStock or iPhotos) to the crowd.