The Brand Sherpa Perspective On Co-Creation Starting At Home for Marketing and Market Research Teams

I have been working recently on a marketing innovation project for an emerging brand.  It was the first time that a truly diverse team of internal and agency stakeholders as well as experts from outside the brand had gotten together in one room to collaborate and leverage one another’s best practices and creative brains. At the end of the day there was one loud and clear implication:  this brand also needsto leverage it’s target consumers to be a part of the definition of it’s brand essence and guide it’s communication strategy.

Open Source innovation is a driving force in emerging brand strategy practice:  bringing outside inspiration from cross-functional teams within your company, consultants from outside as well as consumer points of view.

From experience in dealing with many a brand team, that the issue with co-creation is not necessarily intent, but budget.  Who puts up the cash to make it happen?  Is it a marketing spend?  A market research spend?  Who antes up from their budget to start engaging consumers from the beginning and then keep them involved as brand advocates as well as ongoing voice of customer?  Especially with emerging brands, it’s a tough call to get funding before you can show sales volume.  That is why co-creation is so important.  what you can’t make up for with marketing spend, you need to supplement with insight,  intuition, guts and creative collaboration.

It is pretty intuitive to most forward thinking marketers nowadays that the co-creation story is one that can turn your most influential consumers into ROI machines by virtue of word of mouth alone.  To use a hot market research buzzword, they become “meme” spreaders who pass on your brand message with a strong sense of personal ownership and use whatever mediums are most relevant to them to spread the message.

The added value here is that not only can these open-source innovator consumers be a voice of inspiration and co-creation for your brand, but they can be a valuable marketing and PR asset, continue to participate in research to build and maintain the brand, and help both your marketing and market research teams stay relevant locally by keeping you connected on the ground and connecting more consumers to the cause to participate in further insight and innovation initiatives.

The first step, however, is for co-creation to start at home.  Time for the research and marketing teams to join forces with a unified  vision of  open-source return-on-investment that starts with a shared  budget! Isn’t it amazing how innovation can come from something as simple as accounting? 😉  I have seen this model work so well with clients from CPG sectors to B2B automotive.  Collaboration needs to start with the budget spreadsheets.  It’s exciting to see the new and innovative information and methodologies  and unexpected good will that can come from shared initiatives….both within the company / brand teams itself and especially with your consumers.


4 responses to “The Brand Sherpa Perspective On Co-Creation Starting At Home for Marketing and Market Research Teams

  1. Pingback: The Brand Sherpa Perspective On Co-Creation Starting At Home for … | Drakz blogging Online Service

    • You caught my attention with some of your posts. After reading a bit, you are a little bit of a philosopher and seem to like to stretch the mind. Keep up the great insight.

  2. It is a paradigm shift to think of the consumer as a source for open innovation, and one well worth making!!! The key for early stage research is to listen with the right sets of ears (across the corporate spectrum) to hear what the consumer is saying and turn it into something innovative in the marketplace. Each person hears something different when people talk; think of the old telephone game, but then add each of our own filters, built from our experiences. The more people that can listen and formulate follow-up questions, the better, within, of course, budget constraints.

  3. Engaging customers / consumers as part of the brand strategy definition is a very good move. But the consumer is not always aware of his/her needs. At times, specially when the product is new its category / segment or generations ahead of products available today, you might have to ram the product down the consumer’s throat.

    But by and large, consumer can provide the kind of insight which a few heads together may not be able to realize. The sheer numbers (crowd sourcing) can bring in so much varied opinion that your strategy can undergo a sea-change.

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