Co-Creation Contests: Q&A With The CEO Of eYeka

This is the fourth in a series of question-and-answer blog posts with the CEOs of the vendors included in my recent Forrester Wave™: Co-Creation Contest Vendors, Q3 2011 (blog and report).

Today we’re talking with François Pétavy, CEO of eYeka. eYeka, a Paris-based firm, was identified as a "Leader" in that report.


Doug:          Co-creation contests are a new opportunity for product strategy professionals to solve business challenges, but many people are unfamiliar with them. What is your “elevator pitch” to potential clients about co-creation contests and the benefits they deliver?

François:    Our clients value three main benefits in leveraging co-creation contests: innovation acceleration, consumer intimacy, and re-empowerment.

Online co-creation communities enable organizations to dramatically accelerate the pace of innovation, bringing down the ideation cycle from months to weeks. Involving external, creative, decentralized points of view provides our clients with consumer-rooted collective intelligence, which is now critical as markets become even more globalized and as marketers need to intimately connect to consumers' unmet needs.

Finally, the scalability and transparency of the online co-creation process puts organizations back in the driver's seat of innovation and enables them to transform their organizations as they adopt these new approaches more widely.


Doug:          Why should product strategy professionals consider co-creation a business imperative at this point in time?

François:    The world has become flat for brands, putting greater pressure to meet the needs of connected, empowered, and global individuals and to fight off an ever-increasing number of competitors who are often armed with a significant cost advantage.

Innovation has become a central issue for brands to sustain their competitive edge. Global 1000 companies have already adopted open innovation approaches to step-change their research and development capabilities, opening up the innovation process to external suppliers.

More than ever, innovations need to create true value for consumers. With its ability to deeply involve consumers in the product innovation process, co-creation is the perfect solution to achieve that goal.


Doug:          Our clients often want to prove ROI before pursuing new engagements. How do you help clients prove ROI for co-creation contest projects?

François:    There are two main ROI drivers for our clients: increasing market acceptance of innovations and accelerating time-to-market.

As a vast majority of product launches ultimately fail, increasing your chances of “getting it right” drives tremendous value. We help our clients demonstrate ROI by delivering proof of impact. To do so, we provide our clients with the ability to test how well target consumers react to the ideas submitted by co-creators, allowing them to quickly select the most relevant innovation directions.

Identifying more innovation opportunities, bringing them to market faster and “failing fast” makes speed another key ROI driver. So we help our clients accelerate the speed at which they obtain results compared to other methods.


Doug:          Last question: How is your business evolving to meet clients’ future needs for co-creation?

François:    With globalization, our clients are increasing their focus on emerging markets to capture new opportunities. We are anticipating that trend by deepening the global span and the vibrancy of our community. And we are building local teams to serve them wherever our clients decide to move next.

We see our clients' need for a scalable, integrated, and impactful “Co-creation as a Service” (CCaS) solution. We are investing significant resources in our technology, our product and our professional services to deliver on that vision — and help our clients make the most of co-creation for innovation. Stay tuned!


Next up: Answers to the same questions from Maxim Schram, CEO of Redesignme.