Sunday, March 31, 2013

Co-creation – How companies can use it to make their good ideas ‘great’!

“We were also blown away by the quality of the submissions and to be honest some of the film quality was better than we get from our global agency partners”, exclaimed Leonardo O’Grady, the Asia Pacific regional director for sparkling and activation platforms for Coca Cola after they utilized the eYeka platform to generate thousands of ideas from a global community of consumers to get new perspectives on a brief for marketing2.

Difference between co-creation and crowdsourcing

Co-creation like crowdsourcing is a collaborative initiative which leverages the power of a global community of people. To completely understand co-creation it is important to distinguish it from ‘crowdsourcing’, a more popular and better understood word.  A key difference between both is that co-creation involves a specific group of people unlike crowdsourcing, which is open to all1&4. These people either subscribe to, or have certain knowledge which can be utilized to generate ideas, solve problems etc.

Co-creation is slowly making its way into the imagination of organizations and a few organizations have been successful in generating new quality ideas at very less costs which has not only given them new avenues to explore, but have also helped them better their own ideas.

Coca Cola and co-creation

A great example of this concept being utilized successfully is Coca Cola’s campaign on the eYeka platform. Coca cola was having some trouble working on new ideas for a brief to position coke in the market and they invited to “create a film, print, illustration or animation against that brief”2. They received some top notch responses which helped them work on their own ideas2. In fact, some of the work submitted was better than the work by agencies commissioned by Coca Cola to work on such briefings2. Also the work was top quality and the whole process increased their productivity by 900% compared to the traditional methods of briefing2.

BMW's Co-creation lab

Another success story is BMW’s co-creation labs. They have created a virtual community of people interested in cars, can critique BMW’s work and generate new ideas for them. You can look at their website at -


Why is co-creation successful

Co-creation is successful, because people involved in co-creation are both interested in the work and knowledgeable. Also, they share their ideas, which are looked over by others and give rise to newer and better ideas1. Due to instant feedback and knowledge sharing, the quality of ideas increases with each iteration.  Often someone will come up with an idea but get stumped somewhere. Then someone else with the required knowledge can step in to solve the problem. It works like regular teamwork, but at a global level. Co-creation helps you reach a better more elegant solution in lesser time and more productively1.

Even though co-creation is a good idea, companies must be careful while using it. It cannot be used to generate new products or ideas. Rather companies should use it to refine and fine-tune their ideas. It can also be used as a tool to get instant feedback1. I see this trend growing in the future where companies will find interesting and unique ways to leverage the power of the crowd.

1.       Williams, John. "'Co-creation' Is the New Crowdsourcing." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2013.
2.       Moth, David. "How Coca-Cola Uses Co-creation to Crowdsource New Marketing Ideas."Econsultancy., 13 Nov. 2012. Web. 31 Mar. 2013.
3.       The BMW Co-creation labs at
4.       Yousef, Ramon. "Crowdsourcing vs. Co-Creation: Is There a Difference?" Daily Crowdsource. Daily Crowdsource, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2013.

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