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The advantages of co-creating with customers

Accroître la valeur d'un produit de masse via la co-conception  c oksana nazarchuk
Published on
10 January 2021

A new study analyzed the impact of the “Design your own Converse” program for 178 generation Y participants. The study results highlight the marketing advantages inherent in co-creation and certain key factors required to successfully implement such a program.

Interview with David Gotteland, a professor and researcher of marketing at Grenoble Ecole de Management. David is the co-author of the study alongside Aurélie Merle, professor and researcher of marketing at IAE Saint-Etienne, and Frances Turner, DBA and adjunct professor at Wilkes University Sidhu School of Business, Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA.

Your study highlights that a co-creation program increases the perceived value of the process for customers and also fosters increased attachment to the brand. What is at play? 

First, customer loyalty results from their perception of the quality of relationships and interactions with a company. Thus, if the co-creation experience is a positive one it will increase loyalty. The value for a customer taking part in a co-creation experience depends on two factors: a feeling of controlling the process, and pleasure derived from taking part in the experience.

Your study underlines that "individual styles of thinking" influence the perceived value of mass-market online personalization programs. Could you explain this concept?

Does the manner in which a customer mentally reacts to an experience influence his or her perception of value? We demonstrated that different styles of individual thinking will influence the perceived value of a co-creation process. We identified two types of thinking styles: an emotional, experience-based style and a rational, analytical style.

You also highlight that "experience based thinking (emotional or rational) during a co-creation experience has a positive or negative influence on control and no significant impact on pleasure. Whereas rational thinking increases complexity and pleasure and has no significant impact on control."
Could you expand on this concept in order to provide concrete applications for brand marketing?

We believe two primary managerial applications can be drawn from our study results. First, a company that engages in co-creation must be aware of the key factors that positively stimulate customer perceptions of the experience, in particular feelings of control and pleasure. It's then up to the company to encourage these feelings! Second, a company must use tools that match the thinking style of the customer, which can be either experience-based or analytical-oriented.

Study link : Turner F. (DBA Graduate), Merle A., Gotteland D., Enhancing consumer value of the co-design experience in mass-customization, Journal of Business Research, 2020, vol. 117, no. September, pp. 473-483

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