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Costumer Innovation – New Product Development

The social Web has increased very heavily over the last 6 years. Facebook has more than 1.4 billion members[1]; twitter has more than 280 million members in the end of 2014.[2] Every day posts are made and people are discussing and create new information and ideas. With the help of social media intelligence can this knowledge be integrated in companies. By choosing the right social media management tool you can make a research through the social web. Using a chargeable tool can help you by searching trough blogs, pictures, text, any kind of social media platform and even CRM – Platforms.

Costumer Innovation is a part of the open innovation process.

Source: http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/research/dstools/innovation-funnel/

Gaining knowledge out of our costumer and users can happen in several capabilities.

The first method is called user innovation communities. These communities are founded by itself and can be supported by a company. In an user innovation community mostly created software. The open source movement developed in that way the browser Mozilla Firefox.

The second method of costumer innovation is called idea community. In those communities are innovations in the early stages supported. The user can send ideas for new products to the company. Sending this idea to the company has no time limit.

The third method is called crowdsourcing. An example for a crowdsourcing movement is the virtual innovative agency of BMW. In this way can a company ask questions to the crowd.

The last method of costumer innovation is co-creation. Co-creation is based on 4 different parts.

Part 1:
The first part of the co-creation Framework is listening. During this process should a company listen to their costumer what they expect from the product.

Part 2:
The second element of the co-creation Framework is to engage. Engagement with the costumers can help the company to cause conversations and to get responses from the costumers.

Part 3:
The third element in the co-creation Framework is called respond externally: co-creation. Co-creation is not one step in crating a product. It is more very small different steps, which leads you as a company in the right direction.

Part 4:
The last piece of the co-creation Framework is called the respond internally: organizational alignment. Co-creation and collaboration needs also a planed and successful strategy to implement that into the innovation process of a firm.

These four methods can be used to into the costumer innovation process and help to create better products and services for the company. In this way can the success of a product increase highly.

Let’s take a closer look on the co-creation process by the example of mountain biking. Mountain biking started in the 1970s in California, when some teenagers took there bikes and ride down the mountains. Today is mountain biking is an Olympic sport and the industry is making 100 billion dollars each year. A new market was created, not by a company; it was created by a shared passion. In the 1940 the first people started to use their bikes off the road. They learned really quickly, that the normal bikes weren’t designed for the new area of riding. Very fast the first people tried to create stronger bikes. In that way it came to a conversation of the different people who enjoyed riding their bikes of the street. The first bikes were created, which were stronger and which could be more often used by riding of the street. The people who enjoyed riding their bikes created a kind of community in which they shared their different experience of building bikes. They created also new kinds of bikes and how a machine could produce the different parts for the bikes. In this way the first co-creation process took place. New machines were created and the first companies were founded.[3]

In Conclusion we can separate do’s and don’ts for Costumer Innovation.


  • Integrate your costumer in the innovation process.
  • Motivate your costumer to participate in the innovation process.
  • Ask questions, which are easy to answer for your costumer for example questions about the design


  • Don’t annoy the costumer in participating in the innovation process.
  • Don’t ask your costumer questions they can’t answer for example questions about engineering.
[1] http://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/
[2] http://www.statista.com/statistics/282087/number-of-monthly-active-twitter-users/
[3] cf. Collaboration and Co-creation, New Platforms for Marketing and Innovation, by Gaurav Bhalla (2011), page 3ff.

Über Christian Sting

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