Consumers Are Willing Co-Creators: More On The Intersection Of Social Media And Consumer Product Strategy

In a prior post, I told you that 83% of companies use social media, but fewer than half of those have product teams that are currently using social media to influence product design, creation, or strategy. In that report, I also divulge that 72% of consumer product strategy (CPS) professionals claim that social media will enhance their existing capabilities of using customer input to shape product strategy. I've also posted about how social co-creation is an important opportunity for consumer product strategy (CPS) professionals -- and it's something that some, but not all, of those companies who are active with social media use. For those CPS pros who are not actively engaging in social co-creation, a common question is, "Do consumers want to co-create? And will they want to co-create with me?"

We asked US online adults those very questions, and in a word, the answer is YES. I outline the results of a recent survey of US online adults in a document entitled "US Consumers Are Willing Co-Creators: Activate Engaged Consumers With Social Technologies To Build Better Products." Some highlights of the survey include:

  • Sixty-one percent of US online adults are what I call "willing co-creators:" they would consider providing input to help companies design and build new products or improve existing products.
  • A majority of willing co-creators would participate in a co-creation engagement regardless of the product, brand, or service involved -- although we tend to think that the 30% who would only participate in co-creation efforts with their favorite products and brands might be more engaged and thus produce a better co-creation experience.
  • In 12 of the 17 industries we specified, more than half of the willing co-creators expressed interest in co-creation engagements.

So the value proposition for social co-creation now becomes even clearer: CPS pros understand the value of using social media to influence product strategy; consumers are interested in participating in the co-creation process; and social co-creation is an important, high-reward/low-risk opportunity to listen to and embrace your customers and uncover meaningful ways to improve your product strategy.

Stay tuned for more research on this topic. In the coming months, I'll be publishing some case study documents illustrating how well-known companies use social co-creation to engage with their customers.


Heads up

Love the post... interested in the link BUT click through is reporting
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Look forward to finding out more!!!

Links working?

Hi -- thanks for the info on the links. They seem to be working for me - some link to blogs while others link to published research. Please let me know if you continue to have trouble. I can be reached at dwilliams at forrester dot com.

Thanks for reply

All seems good now... appreciate the feedback

active co-creation vs listening/understanding

Hi Doug -

I discovered your post as part of ongoing work I've been doing on social media understanding, product design and marketing and would be curious how you view active co-creation (via contests, focus groups, or 'open innovation' markets) vs using SM monitoring and analysis to spot unmet needs or test product ideas by looking at what people are saying on the Web.

A couple of my sample points are models like Innocentive which are active and more challenge-based, and NetBase, which is more passive and focused on surfacing insights which can guide product decisions. Some of my initial thoughts on the topic are also touched on in a recent interview + blog post I did with the NetBase CEO about social media, product development and innovation. See it here:

Good stuff! And I look forward to hearing your perspectives and reading more about your research.