Community, Crowdsourcing and Co-Creation are what’s needed for brands to engage with consumers on a deeper level.
”Businesses that want to establish themselves as leaders in their industries should also look for opportunities to collaborate with their customers.Doug Uptmor, Director of Content Marketing, Clarizen
What is Collaboration?
In broad terms, Collaboration is “working collectively with other people, customers or orgnisations, to create or achieve something” (Cambridge University Press, 2011). Typically, brands undertake collaboration for co-creation with customers for the realization of a shared purpose. Additionally, marketing gurus propose that customers can co-create value and collaborate with the brand in their innovation process. But, in essence, is that any different from the age old practice of crowdsourcing?
”Crowdsourcing is a great way to approach innovation because, at any given point, there’s always somebody on the internet who knows something better than you do.Guy Kawasaki, Marketing Specialist
Usually, traditional systems of innovation, where firms decide the products or services to produce, spawn a disconnect between potentials to create value and differentiation steered by an active network of well-versed customers. Such a specialized network of people, bound together by some common identity, who collectively create value is, in essence, present a sort of brand community. Having continuous engagements within the brand communities tend to strengthen the social ties among its members, enabling them to build favorable impressions about the brand beyond the community, facilitating active brand-member engagements, and aiding them to improve the efficacy of the solution offered by the brand. Such brand communities present opportunties for both consumers and the brands to realise greater value exchange.
Needless to say, we have been unknowingly “collaborating” with our customers without paying much attention to its true meaning.
3Cs of Collaboration
We are well aware of the critical space brands are operating in currently. With consumer’s trust in brands on a significant decline and volatility to stay with a brand on the rise due to the advent of technology and fierce competition, true loyalty certainly may be perplexing to achieve.
That being so, there is a clear need for brands to build that sort of supreme relationship with the customers and foster the ideal value exchange. Thus, what’s needed for brands to engage with consumers on a deeper level is the 3 facets of Collaboration…
Co-creation, Crowdsourcing, and Community.