A simple workable “idea” could be worth a million when it comes to branding. Professionals know this better once they dip their feet in this domain of marketing. Traditionally, the new product development team along with the brand management team has been responsible for this brainstorming task. Later, the concept of co-creation with creative users becomes a standard practice across many companies. The concept of co-creation entails inviting creative users to offer their ideas, usually through open competitions, so that workable ideas can be sorted out and applied to instill innovation in products.
Fortunately, the advent of social media has added another dimension to this co-creative spree from consumers. Consumers’ candid responses can easily be sorted out even without arranging competitions. All you have to do is to “listen” to social media, by actively paying attention to what probable ideas consumers are talking about on their walls. You can find almost every imaginable consumer’ forum in social media, starting from chainsaw repair to “do-it-yourself” type hair grooming for pets! People talk about their joys, sorrows and complaints evolving around brands. For example, just search “chainsaw repair” in facebook and you will find groups with a good number of members already talking about it. Find out if they are talking about your brand yet. Many companies are already using this powerful source of creative ideas from customers, as we may call it “open innovation from crowd”. A survey showed that over 50% of Fortune 500 companies have already adopted this approach in their innovation strategy. Consumers’ ideas have been adopted in a wide range of products, starting from soccer shoes by Adidas to Fiat’s “Mio”. The well-known innovative company 3M figured that their total sales of products innovated from “open innovation” concept was eight times higher than that of the conventionally innovated product through in-house teams.
The reason behind success stories of open innovation projects is obvious– it is about designing products in a way that would conform to the need of customers. The innovation process might just have changed for better.