Much is being said at the Cannes Lions Festival about community engagement, crowd-sourcing and co-creation. They have been the topics of a number of sessions and referred to as driving forces behind shaping innovation within business and brands globally.
Community engagement and crowd-sourcing are terms very well known to all communications professionals. And although co-creation as a concept is not that new at all, is it at this year’s Cannes Lions that it has gotten a special spot. From LEGO comes Cuusoo, a platform wherein people ask the brand to make objects and if they reach 1,000 supporters LEGO actually creates the product. Then there is the Fiat Mio Initiative created to enable car enthusiasts to set the agenda for the car of the future. Companies at the Cannes Lions are showing the world how they have embraced openness and reached an exceptional level of collaboration and creativity between brand and consumer.
Co-creation is all about the ‘co’. ‘Co’ as in together. And ‘together’ with consumers, customers and passionate users. It’s about involving them in the creation of innovative ideas, concepts, products, services for your organization or brand. But don’t be mistaken, the benefits of co-creation go way beyond getting new ideas for products or even market-ready solutions. The extraordinary level of engagement and the strong relationship you will create with your audiences through co-creating relationships are just as important. And so is the valuable impact the co-creation initiatives will have on the perception of the brand and its reputation.
So be open brands. Embrace passionate consumers to help you unleash creativity and innovation, create new products and maybe even shape the future of your industry.