Consumer is everything! ——in which processes of NPD that Co-creation can be effectively used

The given article talks about the co-creation between DFEs with stakeholders, buyers, editors and consumers etc. , giving out the definition of co-creation and DFE. The purpose of this paper is to examine the co-creation of small and medium enterprise (SME) designer fashion brands during internationalisation. Through the 38 semi-structured in-depth interviews with designer fashion enterprises, the conclusion is that brand development should pay attention to the negotiation with fashion industry. In addition, successful brand should accept those feedbacks reflects its vision instead of those feedbacks beyond its scope.

However, this article does not take the consumer as the main object of co-creation to analyse, and does not cover all processes of new product development. It talks more about the impact of co-creation on the brand identity. As a result, this article only can be seen an introduction of the further discussion of which process should consumers play in the NPD process.

I did some further reading to explore the topic. For the reader to better understand the process of NPD that can be co-created, the definition of co-creation was given below.

“Co-creation is related to service-dominant logic, which provides a theoretical approach for consumer-centric marketing. Service-dominant logic is now considered a continuous learning process in which the firm develops core competences, identifies potential consumers, cultivates relationships through customised value propositions and interprets marketplace feedback” (Vargo and Lusch, 2004; Tynan et al., 2010).

 

  Fig.1 Co-creation Forms

Source: Frow (2011)

Frow et al.(2011) developed a final typology of co-creation consisting of 12 forms of co-creation (i.e. co-conception of ideas, co-design, co-production, co-promotion, co-pricing, co-distribution, co-consumption, co-maintenance, co-outsourcing, co-disposal, co-experience, and co-meaning creation) (see Figure 1). From the model, almost all the processes of NPD can be co-created. Hoyer (2010) also discussed co-creation at different stages of the NPD process: ideation, product development, commercialization, and post launch.

In the given article in the reading pack, a vital disadvantage of co-creation is that some participants considered co-creation might weaken the brand identity. Relying too heavily on feedback may create a situation in which the DFE experiences a loss of direction as well (Millspaugh and Kent 2016).

As we all know, co-creation can also bring a brand great advantages. A high degree of consumer co-creation at the ideation (i.e., idea generation) and product concept development stage can make great contribution to new product and firm performance (Gruner and Homburg 2000). Some firm even use focus groups and lead users to develop and narrow down the product concept. Previous research has shown that an innovative starting is vital for the success of NPD projects (Cooper 1993).  Consumer can improve the existing offerings of a brand by providing good ideas to fulfil the unmet needs of themselves. (Ernst, Hoyer, Krafft, and Soll 2010). In addition, involving consumers in the NPD process can improve product quality, reduce risk, and increase market acceptance (Business Wire 2001). From my point of view, co-creation is not a bad thing, reacting an unreasonable feedback is a bad thing. As result, gaining the insight of the right target consumer is vital and accepting the feedback from wrong consumers will lead to business failure.

According the design think method we learned before, the design thinking with seven stages can also be considered as a NPD method. As a consumer-centric method, the most important thing is to identify the consumer’s real need and the primary cause of the problem. Regarding to the project of Beats that we will work on, the ideal situation is every stages of our project will be co-created as long as we define the right target consumer and the right problem.

In my opinion, the whole fashion industry is about consumer, if we can consider it as co-creation, than the each stages of NPD is co-created. Brands should use a more careful and in-depth approach to understand the real needs of consumer. Generally, consumers are not able to tell what their real needs are. Therefore, those brands use intelligent means to accurately express the true needs of consumers become successful.

 

References:

Cooper, R.G. (1990) Stage-gate systems: a new tool for managing new products. Business horizons33(3), pp.44-54.

Cooper, R.G. (1993) Winning at new products.

Ernst, H., Hoyer, W.D., Krafft, M. and Soll, J.H. (2010) Consumer idea generation. Workingpaper, WHU, Vallendar.

Frow, P., Payne, A. and Storbacka, K. (2011) November. Co-creation: a typology and conceptual framework. In Proceedings of ANZMAC (pp. 1-6).

Gruner, K.E. and Homburg, C. (2000) Does customer interaction enhance new product success?. Journal of business research, 49(1), pp.1-14.

Millspaugh, J. and Kent, A. (2016) Co-creation and the development of SME designer fashion enterprises. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management20(3), pp.322-338.

Hoyer, W.D., Chandy, R., Dorotic, M., Krafft, M. and Singh, S.S. (2010) Consumer cocreation in new product development. Journal of service research, 13(3), pp.283-296.

Vargo, S.L. and Lusch, R.F. (2004) Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing. Journal of marketing, 68(1), pp.1-17.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted 27th February 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    You comes up with different co-creation processes framework such as Frow’s co-creation form, Hoyer’s stages of NPD process, and even relates co-creation theory to the design thinking processes, which gives me a clear overview of NPD process.
    Becides, I agree with you that consumers themselves would not be able to make co-creation alone, it needs to have interaction between consumers and companies. And brands should provide appropriate method to reach their consumers. Although focus groups and lead users are the good ways to make product development, it is quite expensive and provide limited consumer-firm interactions. While nowadays companies can use social media to reduce time and cost (Hoyer, 2010).

    • Posted 28th February 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes, there are more and more companies are using social media to get to know their consumers, but what people upload on social media may not be true. That is an interesting problem.

      • Posted 28th February 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, I think the brands need to consider this problem and select the useful feedback wisely. However, it is a good way for those SMEs to use social media to know their consumers’ need as they may hard to conduct focus group due to the lack of source and finance.

  2. Posted 28th February 2018 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    The journal given mainly explores the development of SME brands through co-creation, so it emphasize more on the growth of the firms within the global fashion market, rather than taking consumer as the major aspect. But you have added more discussion from the consumer side and analyzed critically. It inspires our project to move away from a product-centric view to a more active interaction betweent the consumer and brand.

  3. Posted 28th February 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Co-creation can, of course, improve the NPD process and increase the product’s value. Consumer thoughts and ideas are vital for our project as well and we should try and find a way to add this element to our project.
    You are right to say consumers do not actually know what they want, therefore product developers need to take and action and find out what would consumers want.

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