Co-creation is probably one of the most used buzz words in this current day and age. Corporations are slowly starting to discover that they do not necessarily need to hire the most expensive experts to get the best ideas. Many individuals are willing to help because of their interest in the product. Communities of individuals interesting in their product have shown to be a rich source of information; not only complaints but also potential improvements. Many other organizations have found success incorporating the crowd in idea creation such as Lays, Unilever, Danone and Lego.
However due to the technical advances in the automotive industry, there is much lagging in the adaption of crowdsourcing in creating the auto motives of the future. Although it is hard, BMW Group created the Co-Creation Lab whereby allowing consumers or just general interested individuals help in the process of creating future cars. So what is the BMW Group Co-Creation Lab? It is a platform for individuals interested in cars to share their ideas and opinions on BMW auto motives and concepts (BMW Group, 2015). Instead of waiting for Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond or James May to evaluate BMW’s cars after they have already been produced, individuals can now take out their main concerns when the car is in the conceptualization stage. Besides evaluating concepts that have been developed by the BMW production team, they also have the ability to contribute their own ideas and suggestions.
Therefore, BMW Group has created several running projects in order to get the community to become the new innovative leaders for BMW automotive production. Furthermore, through their collaboration, the best ideas can be generated, combined and finally constructed. There have been many projects that have been completed already. Firstly, Customer Innovation Lab project evaluated the development of telematics (road transportation such as GPS) and online services making them more convenient for drivers. Of the 1045 users there were 215 ideas created by consumers of which 2 ideas actually were introduced to the market (BMW Group, 2015). Another project was less focused on engineering capabilities and more about preferences namely the Interior Idea Contest where consumers could indicate in which concepts there should be more individualization. Sometimes there are some interior designs whereby no other options are capable even though this might be wanted by consumers. With this more than 1100 users joined to create more than 750 ideas (BMW Group, 2015). Besides the actual idea creation, this platform allows for extensive feedback submitted by the users of which aspects BMW should change or improve.
After the many complaints of people placing their luggage in their trunks with Tetris precision, BMW group decided to host the Trunk Idea Contest. Through this platform, global consumers can address their concerns but especially create new ideas of how to best improve the luggage compartment. Currently still running and allowing for individuals to create the most innovative idea about how to improve the trunk space for their auto motives. Therefore, if you have any annoyances in your BMW or cars in general, Co-Creation Lab is open to hearing them and hopefully you can come up with some innovative ideas yourself to win the grand-prize.
BMW Group. (2015, May 1). BMW Group Co-Creation Lab. Retrieved from About Co-Creation Lab: https://www.bmwgroup-cocreationlab.com/about