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Co-creation: Expectations vs. Reality - Sometimes it's More like a Comedy than Collaboration

  • June 29 2023
  • Dr. B

Screenshot 2023-06-28 at 10.30.14 PM

Co-creation is a buzzword that has been buzzing around the business world for quite some time now. The idea of working collaboratively with your customers and partners to create a product or service that meets their specific needs sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, let's be real here. Co-creation isn't always sunshine and rainbows. In fact, sometimes expectations and reality can be miles apart. So, let's take a look at some of the expectations versus reality when it comes to co-creation involving customers, partners, and of course your organization.

Expectation: Customers and Partners will be thrilled to co-create with you.

Reality: Not all customers or partners are created equal. Some are more than happy to provide feedback and collaborate with you, while others would rather stick needles in their eyes. You might find that some customers and partners are just too busy to participate or don't have the necessary expertise to contribute meaningfully. And then there are the ones who will offer feedback that's so off-the-wall, you'll wonder if they're from another planet.

Expectation: Co-creation will lead to innovation and new ideas.

Reality: Yes, co-creation can be a great way to generate new ideas, but it's not a magic pill. The reality is that not every idea will be a winner. In fact, some might be downright terrible. But that's okay. The key is to be open to feedback and willing to pivot when necessary.

Expectation: Co-creation will be easy.

Reality: Ha! If only it were that simple. Co-creation requires a lot of effort and coordination. You'll need to communicate clearly, provide clear guidelines and expectations, and make sure everyone is on the same page. And even then, things might not go as planned. But hey, that's life.

Expectation: Co-creation will lead to happy customers.

Reality: In a perfect world, yes. But in fact, not every customer will be happy with the co-creation process. Some may feel that their ideas weren't taken seriously or that their contributions were undervalued. Others might be frustrated with the time and effort required to participate. The key is to be transparent and communicative throughout the process and to be willing to listen to feedback. Co-creation is an iterative process between the customer, you, and your partners and it takes time and effort to get it right.

Expectation: Co-creation will be the key to success.

Reality: Co-creation can be a valuable tool, but it's not a silver bullet. It's just one of many strategies you can use to improve your product or service. You'll still need to focus on other areas of your business, like marketing, sales, and customer support, in order to succeed.
So, there you have it. Co-creation isn't always what it's cracked up to be, but that doesn't mean you should give up on it altogether. By managing your expectations and being realistic about the challenges, you can still reap the benefits of this collaborative approach. Just remember, in the words of the great philosopher Mick Jagger, "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need."

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