Webinar with Gaurav Bhalla
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.
- Rethinking marketing: from pushing products, to cultivating customer value
- Internet: allows global collaboration
- A new customer: creative, educated, empowered and connected
- Company power and resources: from value chains to value constellations (company ecosystems)