Co-creation in practice: exploring practitioner views on co-creation

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Addition to the literature review 'The co-creative consumer'. This article explores key findings of eight in-depth interviews.

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<ul><li><p> Co-creation in practice </p><p>Exploring practitioner views on co-creation </p><p>Key findings of eight in-depth interviews </p><p>This article is an addition to the authors literature review The co-creative consumer </p><p>Draft version: 30th March 2011 Final corrections: 18th April 2011 Course: ECH- 80424 Program: Management, Economics and Consumer studies Student: Joyce van Dijk Reg.nr: 841018208030 Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Gerrit Antonides Institution: Wageningen University Grade: 9 (out of 10) </p></li><li><p>Joyce van Dijk April 2011 Exploring practitioner views on co-creation page 2 </p><p>Preface </p><p>This article is written in addition to a two-month literature study on the topic of co-creation. Next to </p><p>the theoretical findings, this article contains viewpoints from people that are dealing with co-</p><p>creation in their daily business practices. These practitioners offer interesting insights into the </p><p>concept of co-creation, benefits, success factors, risks and challenges. Furthermore, the article </p><p>provides a viewpoint on the influence of co-creation on consumer preferences and attitudes. This is </p><p>especially relevant for my MSc thesis, where I will further explore the influence of co-creation on </p><p>consumer attitudes. First and foremost I would like to thank the eight people that participated in the </p><p>interviews; Johannes Gebauer, Ingrid de Laat, Tom de Ruyck, Johan Sanders, Martijn van Kesteren, </p><p>Ruurd Priester, Michael Blankert and Will Reijnders. All of them have been very enthusiastic, patient </p><p>and helpful throughout the whole research process. They have been very willing to share their time </p><p>and offer me insights in to their expertise, views and feedback. I learned a lot in each interview and </p><p>the participants were open to any questions or comments I additionally made. Since the space on </p><p>this page is entirely reserved for a preface anyway, I would like to write a little word about each of </p><p>the participants. To start with Tom de Ruyck, with whom I had a very fruitful interview, as it resulted </p><p>in a sponsorship offer for my MSc thesis experiment. I am very happy with his confidence and I am </p><p>looking forward to working together on this with Insites Consulting. Also I am happy that Johannes </p><p>Gebauer was open to getting interviewed via the internet, because I wouldnt have been able to </p><p>meet him in Germany. Johan Sanders offered me interesting insights into innovation management </p><p>and I attended one of his university lectures to learn more. The interview with Martijn van Kesteren </p><p>was fun, he decided to play a game and we co-created a drawing together. Michael Blankert shared </p><p>some of his interesting plans for the future and gave me something to take home: the new crisps </p><p>Patatje Joppie. Ingrid de Laat had already welcomed me in her office once before to discuss the </p><p>topic of co-creation, and was again willing to spend an hour of her time talking with me outside her </p><p>working hours. I also want to thank Ruurd Priester and Will Reijnders for being flexible with their </p><p>time and providing me with an interesting interview, even after their unplanned change in schedule. </p><p>Furthermore, I would like to thank all the people that have helped to get me in touch with the </p><p>participants, and of course my supervisor Gerrit Antonides, who motivates and inspires me. </p><p>Looking forward to talking to you again! </p><p>Joyce van Dijk </p></li><li><p>Joyce van Dijk April 2011 Exploring practitioner views on co-creation page 3 </p><p>Table of Contents </p><p>Preface .................................................................................................................................................... 2 </p><p>Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 4 </p><p>Research method ............................................................................................................................ 4 </p><p>Participants ............................................................................................................................................. 5 </p><p>Key findings ............................................................................................................................................ 6 </p><p>I The role of co-creation ................................................................................................................ 6 </p><p>II Benefits from co-creation ........................................................................................................... 7 </p><p>III Visions on success factors ........................................................................................................... 9 </p><p>IV Challenges and misunderstandings .......................................................................................... 11 </p><p>V Reactions to the MSc thesis research on co-creation ............................................................... 13 </p><p>VI Overview of the findings ........................................................................................................... 16 </p><p>Limitations and suggestions for further research ................................................................................. 17 </p><p>More information ................................................................................................................................. 18 </p></li><li><p>Joyce van Dijk April 2011 Exploring practitioner views on co-creation page 4 </p><p>Introduction </p><p>This article elaborates on the most interesting findings that surfaced during exploratory expert </p><p>interviews about the concept of co-creation. The interviews were conducted by the author as </p><p>preliminary research for an MSc Thesis about the effect of co-creation on consumer attitudes toward </p><p>co-created products. The data helps gaining insight into the concept and development of co-creation </p><p>from a practitioners point of view. The participants address benefits of co-creation, as well as </p><p>challenges and pitfalls they have come across or experienced in their working environment. </p><p>Furthermore, they give their opinion on the authors MSc thesis draft proposal and provide some </p><p>useful feedback and comments. </p><p>Research method </p><p>Prior to the interviews, an extensive literature review was conducted to gain a broad set of </p><p>knowledge about the concept of co-creation. This article forms the basis for the set-up of the </p><p>interview questions. The aim of the interviews is to get more insight into the practical meaning and </p><p>implications of co-creation. </p><p> The eight participants have been selected based on experience, expertise and practical </p><p>knowledge of co-creation. Three participants are from multinational firms in the consumer goods </p><p>sectors, which have experimented with co-creation. Four participants are from agencies that serve </p><p>different clients in developing and executing co-creation projects. In addition, there is also an </p><p>academic with extensive marketing research experience. </p><p> The interviews were conducted throughout February and March of 2011 as described in the </p><p>table below (for personal descriptions see next page). The interviews lasted on average one hour </p><p>and were conducted in Dutch, except for the interview with Johannes Gebauer, which was </p><p>conducted in English. All interviews were recorded on audiotape, then transcribed by the author and </p><p>the final transcription was checked and agreed upon by the participants. </p><p>The Dutch data from the interviews is translated by the author. Full transcriptions are available on </p><p>request and with agreement of the participants. </p><p>Table 1: Description of the conducted interviews </p><p>Participant Employer Date Standard time Location </p><p>Johannes Gebauer HYVE 10th</p><p> February 9.00-10.00 Via Skype (internet) </p><p>Ingrid de Laat RedesignMe 11th</p><p> February 11.15-12.15 Via Skype, after a prior meeting at the office in Eindhoven </p><p>Tom de Ruyck Insites Consulting </p><p>16th</p><p> February 10.15-11.30 Insites Consulting head office in Ghent, Belgium </p><p>Johan Sanders Sara Lee 17th</p><p> February 9.30-10.30 Sara Lee head office in Utrecht </p><p>Martijn van Kesteren Unilever 23th</p><p> February 10.15-11.15 A cafeteria in Utrecht </p><p>Ruurd Priester Lost Boys 1st</p><p> March 10.45-12.00 LostBoys head office in Amsterdam </p><p>Michael Blankert PepsiCo 2nd</p><p> March 16.00-17.00 PepsiCo head office in Utrecht </p><p>Will Reijnders TiasNimbas 9th</p><p> March 10.30-11.30 TiasNimbas office in Tilburg </p></li><li><p>Joyce van Dijk April 2011 Exploring practitioner views on co-creation page 5 </p><p>Participants </p><p>Firms </p><p>Michael Blankert, Consumer Engagement Manager at PepsiCoi. Blankert was actively </p><p>involved in the first PepsiCo co-creation-type campaign in Holland; Lays Maak de Smaakii. </p><p>This cross-media project was an open call to all Dutch consumers to come-up with a new </p><p>flavour. The campaign is now one of the biggest and best-known co-creation/crowdsourcing </p><p>campaigns in Holland, and won the 2010 NIMA awardiii</p><p> for customer-oriented </p><p>entrepreneurship. </p><p> Martijn van Kesteren, Consumer Insights Manager at Unileveriv. Within Unilever Van </p><p> Kesteren consults on marketing strategy and market research within the product categories </p><p>ice-cream and beverages. He was involved in e.g. an online research community for Ben &amp; </p><p>Jerrys fansv, aimed at connecting and generating new consumer insights. </p><p>Johan Sanders is Innovation Manager at Sara Leevi. Sanders was indirectly involved in co-</p><p>creation projects for Senseo coffeevii</p><p> and Pickwick teaviii</p><p>. The Pickwick Dutch Blend, </p><p>launched in October 2010, was the result of a collaboration between Pickwick-Hyves </p><p>members and experts from the firm. The co-creation aspect was communicated in the </p><p>nationwide advertising campaign. </p><p>Agencies </p><p>Ingrid de Laat, Co-creation Consultant at RedesignMeix; an agency specialized in co-creation </p><p>to generate new insights, product ideas or designs. De Laat translates firms challenges to </p><p>creative assignments for teams of consumers and experts. RedesignMe works with firms </p><p>such as Sara Lee, Albert Heijn, Honig and Schiphol. </p><p>Ruurd Priester, Strategy Director at Lost Boys International (LBi)x; a full-service agency </p><p>that creates online strategies and campaigns for client firms such as Anne Frank Stichting, </p><p>ANWB, Interpolis en Nuon. Priesters starting point is user-centred thinking and focusing </p><p>on creating complete consumer experiences. </p><p>Tom de Ruyck, Sr. R&amp;D Manager at Insites Consultingxi; a full-service marketing consultancy </p><p>and research agency. De Ruyck is an expert on innovative research methods such as chat, </p><p>blog research, online brainstorms and co-creation communities. He has worked on co-</p><p>creation projects for Kraft Foods, Telenet, Friesland Campina and Heinz. </p><p>Johannes Gebauer, Team Manager of the HYVE Innovation Communityxii</p><p>. HYVE is a </p><p>German innovation agency that constructs, manages and engages online communities in </p><p>firms innovation processes. Gebauer has done consumer involvement projects for e.g. </p><p>Henkel, Tchibo and Swarovski. </p><p>Academic </p><p> Prof. dr. Will Reijnders, professor and director of the Executive Master of Marketing </p><p> Program at TiasNimbas Business Schoolxiii</p><p>. Besides that, Reijnders takes part in supervisory </p><p> boards for various institutions and is a management consultant. His expertise is mainly on </p><p> strategic marketing issues such as client value creation and cross channel marketing </p></li><li><p>Joyce van Dijk April 2011 Exploring practitioner views on co-creation page 6 </p><p>Key findings </p><p>I The role of co-creation </p><p>The concept of co-creation </p><p>Participants agree that co-creation is a term that is connected to a broad spectrum of consumer </p><p>involvement in innovation, research and marketing projects. It is also often referred to as a hyped </p><p>terminology, a popular modern marketing term. </p><p> De Ruyck distinguishes between two categories of co-creation; co-creation in the narrow </p><p>sense and co-creation in the broad sense. In the narrow sense it concerns close collaboration </p><p>between firms and consumers to generate new product ideas. Co-creation in the broad sense </p><p>comprises only specific aspects of product development or innovation processes. This is what we do </p><p>quite a lot, and it is often aimed at product improvement, such as packaging, De Ruyck explains. </p><p>One reason that co-creation in the broad sense is applied more often can be that it is relatively easy </p><p>to implement in traditional processes. </p><p> Priester also distinguishes between types of co-creation and identifies (1) process co-</p><p>creation, involving designing or and developing a product or service; (2) service-related co-creation; </p><p>focused on interaction and consumer feedback; and the more intensive (3) co-creation of campaigns. </p><p>He illustrates the latter type by referring to an online campaign for Zwitsal baby care productsxiv. The </p><p>goal was to start an online conversation with (future) moms. Priester: On the website they can </p><p>exchange experiences, get answers to their questions, watch videos about childcare and ask Zwitsal </p><p>experts for advice. </p><p> Van Kesteren sees co-creation in the purest sense as a collaboration between consumers </p><p>and companies aimed at addressing relevant needs. However, he argues, the term is often used as a </p><p>buzz word and some companies place too much responsibility on consumers. Van Kesteren: You </p><p>should not expect consumers to independently come up with an innovative and relevant solution. </p><p>He stresses co-creation should always be a joint collaboration and companies should provide </p><p>relevant inputs and concepts, such that consumers can effectively respond to this. </p><p> Gebauer states that co-creation is sometimes misjudged by firms as a marketing tool, </p><p>something that can be used to enhance sales. He argues that this desired marketing effect can only </p><p>result from a true authentic collaboration between firms and consumers. If there is no authenticity </p><p>and selling is the main goal of the firm, consumers will sense this and the co-creation will fail, </p><p>Gebauer says. </p><p>A changing landscape </p><p>The participants were asked to provide their visions on the current consumer-producer relations and </p><p>whether these have changed throughout the last decade. The participants agree that nowadays </p><p>firms have to be more transparent in their information provision. They need to justify whatever they </p><p>claim in order to convince consumers. This is often linked to internet savvy consumers who are </p><p>highly informed and scrutinize information. </p><p> Gebauer notes that consumers are also more personally engaged in brands and products. </p><p>Consumers are now suddenly in charge and consider brands and products as their own property, </p><p>to state it provocatively, Gebauer explains. Participants are well aware that firms that dont live up </p><p>to their promises or consumer expectations, run the risk of being criticized in the mass media. </p><p> Priester underlines the importance of connected online networks: () you end up in a </p></li><li><p>Joyce van Dijk April 2011 Exploring practitioner views on co-creati...</p></li></ul>