Is Co-Creation a Trend to Watch?

I had a recent blog post of mine, Value Stream Mapping your Marketing that was tweeted and mentioned that it was 6 years out of date. The reason being is that it failed to mention Service Dominate Logic. Heck, the truth of the matter is that I never heard of SDI. As it turned out I had, just by other names. I looked into SDI and found a small group of practitioners and others that had called it a different twist on things but nothing relatively new. 

The real meat, I thought to SDI was a branch of it called Customer Co-creation which I think actually stands on its own. Customer Co-creation has a tremendous amount of value and there is an excellent description of it by Graham Hill on the Customer Think site. In addition Venture Beat had an article, 5 signs that customer co-creation is a trend to watch that said:

Many e-commerce leaders — Nike,, and Blue Nile, for example — have begun combining customer co-creation with social media tools to let customers share what they’ve created across social networks. The goal of co-creation is to allow customers to specify exactly what they want while engaging them an interactive building experience.

Before you wander off, listen to what Connie Kalcher Vice president, Customer Experience LEGO talks about open innovation, co-creation, lead users in relations to LEGO Mindstorms, LEGO Design By Me and LEGO Universe.

Customer co-creation is the epiphany of early market feedback. The Agile Movement and other parts of the software community have been introducing the customer early in the development process for many years. Co-creation seems to be a natural extension of this process. My podcast guest this week Don Reinertsen of Reinertsen Associates discussed including the customer early in your development process but he warned not to stop at understanding what the customer wants but rather understanding why they want things.  He went on to say that the real advantage of a customer driven process will seldom lead to a product that no one will buy. A specification driven process can easily produce a product that nobody wants.

Have you ever thought about how you can co-create with your customers?

P.S. In my blog post that was cited as out of date,  I was just trying to identify the need to be able to map and identify what the customer values. Is Customer Value out of date?

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