In 2013, consumers have become primary drivers of content, of product and of brand. Able to upload user-generated video to YouTube and broadcast affinities to Twitter fans, consumers have overturned the traditional model where a business builds a product in silo and offers it up to consumers. Sound archaic?
Recognizing this new, “empowered consumer,” many brands have turned to value co-creation or crowdsourcing. By involving the consumer in the creative process the brand temporarily suspends authority, and collaborates with the consumer in an effort to co-create the product. In this collaborative process, value is driven by the people instead of appropriated by businesses.
In the market research industry, value co-creation has been facilitated through survey research. IHUT (In Home Usage Testing) and diary studies are just a few examples that enable researchers to see through a consumer’s eyes. Yet the industry still has a long way to go in order to truly leverage the value of co-creation. To get there, we need to reach consumers whenever, wherever, while respecting their privacy. We want that front-of-mind, in-the-moment view of their experiences at a sensory level.
Mobile will help us close the gap, and get us closer than ever to value co-creation. Consumers have opportunity to express their views on products and services while simultaneously experiencing them. They can also provide feedback on advertisements immediately after real-life exposure. Through rich media responses such as video and audio recording, as well as photo capture, consumers open a window into their world. On the other side, businesses receive valuable consumer input in a real-world context.
With smartphones practically becoming a part of the consumer anatomy, it’s critical that market researchers give their clients an opportunity to take advantage of this technology. When a brand can keep up with a consumer’s lifestyle, the consumer can then influence the brand’s process of creation. When this occurs, everyone benefits. While there is still more ground to cover, through mobile, the market research industry is closer than ever to value co-creation.
Does co-creation play a role in your business? Share your thoughts with us below.