Innovation through Community Co-Creation: An exploratory study of how to use communities for co-creating innovations

Jakob Helnæs Jensen & Camilla Frimodt Dindorp

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Background: With the spread of the Internet, consumers are getting more informed and are getting access to an almost global supply of consumer goods. This has created an interest for User Innovation in an attempt to ensure that future products will satisfy the increasingly picky customers of today. Traditional User Innovation is, however, limited by the number of users who can be involved, and the creative freedom that can be granted to the users. Purpose: To explore how consumer goods companies can include online communities in the innovation process to actively co-create new products with users. Method: This exploratory thesis is based on netnographic case studies of two very different consumer goods providers; Quirky and LEGO Cuusoo. The case studies are supplemented by both user and expert interviews conducted in a semi-structured manner. Conclusions: Community Co-Creation (CCC) has been found to be significantly different from other User Innovation methods in terms of how, when, and where the users are involved in the innovation process. The main benefits of CCC are that both reach and richness can be achieved, and that the user-stimulus can be from company prompts, but also community inspiration or external, usage-situated stimuli. The goal of Community Co-Creation and innovation at large will depend on the environment of the company and thus, any CCC strategy will have to be adjusted hereto. The thesis discusses various market and competition factors and how they can be accommodated in a CCC strategy. Recommendations: The hypothesis developed in this thesis is that a deliberate multiphase process structure will enable companies to focus on the user input needed in each innovation phase. Through deliberate phase formatting it will be possible to get the right type of user input. In order to further assist phase formatting, this thesis presents three types of CCC that should be used as a starting point for the design of Community Co-Creation phase formats, in accordance with the aforementioned process structure. Suggestion for further research: Being exploratory, this thesis combines analogous theories and empirical findings into hypotheses; we encourage that these hypotheses are challenged. Furthermore, both the scale and the scope of CCC should be expanded by further research.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2013
Number of pages169