Many consumer product strategy experts are either starting to think about how co-creation can help them better create products and services or are considering expanding the co-creation engagements they already have, according to new research from analyst firm Forrester Research.
In the “Market Overview: Co-Creation Vendors 2011” report, Douglas Williams, consumer product strategy analyst at Forrester, highlights ways in which co-engagement social media requires outside vendors. Williams recommends issuing a request for information (RFI) to better understand the strengths and weakness of each potential partnership and then to fit co-creation into an existing or future budget.
According to Williams, many vendors already have co-creation services, and the number is growing. He describes co-creation as “a wide and varied discipline," and identifies the six co-creation engagements as:
- Ideation sites. Vendors help companies define and establish an open online suggestion box.
- Private online communities. Vendors recruit, establish, host, and often manage a private online community,
- Co-creation contests. Vendors offer a platform with a community, incentives, and prizes awarded to the best ideas.
- In-person workshops. Vendors also create in-person co-creation engagements with smaller groups of consumers.
- Public communities. Vendors help companies by building and hosting public communities.
- Listening platforms. Vendors help companies listen to consumer conversations about products or services and then mine that data for product or service improvement ideas and information about competitors.
The report cites Lithium Technologies, Salesforce.com, and digital agencies as examples of ideation sites, while Communispace and Passenger are examples of private online communities. Vendors participating in the crowdsourcing space were identified as Eyeka, Jovoto, and Napkin Labs. Face, Hyve, and Promise were cited as having in-person engagements.