5 Keys to Successful Co-Creation

June 5, 2019 Cue Insights

5 Keys to Successful Co-Creation


What is co-creation?

Co-creation is not a methodology. It is an iterative process of engaging consumers through a variety of methods to collaborate towards an end result.

Why should I use co-creation?

Many companies adopt co-creation to build or improve products/services by engaging consumers in the design process. This process proves beneficial to both consumers and companies by creating a more meaningful relationship. Benefits of co-creation include:

  • Fresh insights reflected in innovations brought to the market
  • Validation of ideas developed internally
  • Brainstorming secondary ideas
  • Built-in new product user group
  • Built-in loyalty
  • Public relations & communications content

How is co-creation implemented?

Best Practice

Cue uses a 4-stage process: observation, imagination, refinement and assessment. Throughout the process, co-creation uses primary market research methodologies, social media/digital methodologies, or a combination. Decisions on methodology depends on objectives, budget, and timing. The remainder of this white paper focuses on co-creation in market research.

How should I get started?

Best Practices

These 5 points will help determine your co-creation plan and supporting market research in your next co-creation project.

1. Your objectives determine recruiting targets and methodology. When scoping out the research, your first priority should be creating a clear and measurable objective. Do you want to improve an existing product/service (evolution) or are you aiming to create something innovative and new (discovery)?

2. Find the right partner for your co-creation project with experience in early stage innovation and design development who can help guide you through the entire process. Your partner should be able to propose a well-defined plan which you can fine-tune through collaborative effort. In addition to a strong proposal, you want a partner that has proven experience in implementation. Understanding the strengths and nuances of co-creation helps a great deal in making the most relevant and actionable recommendations based on the research.

  • Cue Insights is an independent, globally capable, full service marketing research agency. Cue’s expertise integrates a broad array of healthcare segments, including consumer, R&D, nutrition, pharmaceutical, devices, public health, and reimbursement. This provides a complete perspective of the consumers’ journey, regardless of the focus of any given research.

3. Consider a broad range of methods that can be utilized in co-creation.
Co-creation is not a methodology in and of itself. It is an iterative process of engaging consumers through a variety of methods to produce a collaborative end result. Co-creation can include primary market research, both qualitative and quantitative.

  • Qualitative market research includes individual interviews, focus groups, ethnographies, consumer workshops, and online communities. These methods can be especially valuable to co-creation because they help companies understand the why behind consumer actions and attitudes.
  • Quantitative market research includes approaches such as online questionnaires, in-home usage tests, and central location tests. These methods are useful to co-creation as they statistically show consumer preferences and how the majority of consumers, or various subsets of consumers, feel about products/services.
  • Case Study: Cue Insights used a combination of qualitative and quantitative research for their co-creation project for a manufacturer of baby care products. The case study below illustrates how Cue Insights utilized various methodologies to partner with consumers in co-creating a line of improved baby care products.

4. How you engage your consumers will affect the quality of your outcome. Co-creation is intended to benefit both the consumer and the company. Respondents are more likely to fully engage in a project when they feel valued as a team member.

  • Engage respondents from the beginning by giving a full explanation of the role they will play in the development of the product/service. Better engagement leads to more thoughtful feedback.
  • If a co-creation project includes multiple phases, set the stage for the next round with the respondents at the end of each phase. This locks in the agenda and encourages the respondent to think about the product/category, which in turn motivates them to think, investigate, and commit in between phases. Respondents also tend to have higher repeat show rates when they are fully engaged.

5. Maintain an open attitude throughout co-creation. Co-creation should be inclusive. While you need to have a clear objective, there may be ideas or improvements that are brought up which you don’t want to lose. While not necessarily relevant to the current objectives, these findings may be valuable insights for additional workstreams. Maintaining an open attitude allows respondents to feel the freedom to fully express their ideas instead of trying to filter out the ideas that they think you may not want to hear. This holistic perspective yields the most beneficial and comprehensive outcomes.

Next time you’re considering co-creating a product/service, keep these points in mind for a successful project!

Have a co-creation project in the pipeline? Email denise.burns@cueinsights.com to schedule a consultation.

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