Nowadays, the word “co-creation” is becoming the new trend in business and product development. Varying from other meanings, in this case, the consumers act as another partner who perform in the creation of value as well. With the arise of the social media, “co-creation” is getting more attention from companies as an option to distinguish themselves from the others.
At the very beginning, the process of value creation was almost driven within the business itself. To be more specific, all activities like product design and production, creation of marketing messages, could be performed within the business without any consumer input. in these days, consumers are not creative as seen as the last point of consumer interaction, rather than during the process of value creation.
The definition of consumer value is the difference between the perceived benefits of the product or service, and the cost of that product or service. However, this definition cannot be really helpful as how value is actually created. Base on the defining words of Austrian-Hungarian economist and Harvard University lecturer Joseph Schumpeter in the 1950s – “One does not make a difference unless it is a difference in people’s lives” – management is in the dilemma as well to come up with the exact role of the consumer in order to perform best delivering to ‘making a difference’.
Recently, the growing acceptance of co-creation has changed the role of the consumers in the creation of value. IKEA is one the them. IKEA, one of the biggest multinational furniture retailer from Sweden, gains the benefit of co-creation by having customers provider their own assembly operation. On the other hand, the executives of BMW have realized Mini with new development that significant mileage can be gained by tapping into the collective experiences and creativity of consumers all over the world. Nowadays, most of the Mini owners choose to co-create a car with their own specification in order to be unique. Last but not least, Amazon also benefit from the co-creation by encouraging reader to write product reviews for other customers. in this way. The new customers could view the review first then decide whether to buy it or not. And it somehow increases the attention from more potential customers.
The new acceptance of co-creation for consumers has added a new dimension to improve the relationship between company and consumer by engaging consumers directly in the production and distribution of value. However, the interaction of companies and consumers, on the hand hand, also play an important role on the process. This interaction can take place anywhere within the business operation, not only happens at the point of sale, but also in the research sessions which can provide an ideal time to explore value creation.
Besides, many companies start to use social media website to develop co-creative initiates as well since it is more convenient for consumers to voice their views and opinions on social platforms. However, it is not enough for a true co-creation process. In order to work effectively in the co-creation process, the customers should place themselves as the same level of importance as the company, and the process should also starts with access and transparency.