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Webinar with Gaurav Bhalla

June 5, 2011

Here’s a short post about the first Co-Creation Forum webinar: “How Co-Creation is Transforming Innovation,” that took place last Friday. Despite a 6 hour time -and 7500 km- difference I was able to directly communicate with Gaurav Bhalla, a published author on co-creation and CEO of Knowledge Kinetics. This was a great opportunity to listen to his thoughts and views on co-creation. I was also able to ask him some questions that are of interest to my MSc thesis….:

Q: Do you think the aspect of co-creation will influence brand perceptions of consumers that did not participate in co-creation themselves?
A: “Interesting question.. there is no clear data on this yet but evidence suggests a positive influence. When consumers become aware that a brand co-creates, they get curious about this and more interested in the brand. I would expect it also influences brand perceptions positively”

Q: How can companies avoid co-creation to be perceived as a ‘marketing claim’. How to ensure consumers take the efforts seriously and recognize co-creation efforts as authentic?
A: “The only way to achieve this is by behaving according to co-creation principles. This way you generate authenticity and trust with consumers”

He also gives the example of Wal-Mart’s social networking site ‘The Hub’, which was shut down just 10 weeks after its launch in 2006. Sources suggest that “the lack of interactivity between users, heavy-handed corporate messaging, and parental notifications the site used could have hastened its shutdown”. (Forbes, 2006)

Here are some take-away messages from the webinar:

  • Co-creation can best be implemented as a business process, it requires serious effort and investments
  • Co-creation is adopted not only by businesses, but also by governments and NGO’s
  • Value needs to be sustained, because it will decline over time. Innovations create value, and innovation champions are also growth champions (e.g. P&G, Unilever, IBM). Value is not what company do TO their products, but in the contemporary perspective it is what customers do WITH your product that creates value
  • The customer is no longer an outsider, but is becoming a part of the company’s business process
  • Valuable brand conversations arise naturally, driven by brand ambassadors: consumers that are passionate and communicative about a brand.
Four key drivers of co-creation: (more about this in my literature study)
  1. Rethinking marketing: from pushing products, to cultivating customer value
  2. Internet: allows global collaboration
  3. A new customer: creative, educated, empowered and connected
  4. Company power and resources: from value chains to value constellations (company ecosystems)
Some interesting cases:
For more information about Gaurav Bhalla’s viewpoints and writing, visit his weblog  
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Yannig permalink
    June 5, 2011 10:31 pm

    Hey Joyce, thx for sharing this. I was supposed to attend also but had connectivity issues at home…
    About your first question (well done😉 ) you might want to check out this article: Nambisan, S. & Baron, R.A. (2007). Interactions in Virtual Customer Environments: Implications for Product Support and Customer Relationship Management, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 21, 2, p. 42-62
    Cheers

    • June 6, 2011 8:50 am

      Thanks, I will! That name sounds familiar, I think they are cited in Piller and Bilgram’s articles as well
      Too bad you couldn’t attend the webinar.. just try and convince Eyeka to help organise more of this in the future🙂

  2. June 23, 2011 11:36 am

    Hey and I just found another paper that might interest you: Jang, H., Olfman, L., Ko, I., Koh, J. and Kim, K. The influence of on-line brand community characteristics on community commitment and brand loyalty. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 12, 3 (spring 2008), 57–80
    Cheers !

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