Today’s consumers are more knowledgeable, networked, and vocal. For them consumption is not merely an act of buying products and services, but an expression of their creative potential. Consequently, they are demanding a say and a voice in how companies conceive, develop, and deliver value to them.
It is not surprising, therefore, to hear that a large number of companies are transforming how they innovate―not only in terms of developing new products and services, but in how they are created, delivered, and supported to customers.
Open Innovation thinking, where companies collaborate with suppliers, distributors, and customers to co-create unique value, is fast replacing traditional thinking that viewed innovation as a proprietary activity and marketing as a static, one-way broadcast.
However, while there is significant advocacy and buy-in for collaborating with customers, there is little guidance for companies on how to undertake the journey from applause and appreciation to execution. Only reading about others’ success stories – Nike, Hallmark, P&G, Mozilla, etc. – is not sufficient for helping a company develop a blueprint for themselves.
Strategy and branding consultant Gaurav Bhalla presents a concrete framework to help companies systematically and effectively design and implement collaborative innovation programs with their customers that can be applied in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer contexts.
The author describes how today’s technologies allow companies to create dynamic dialogues with their customers through shared networks, virtual marketing techniques, and blogs to develop deeper relationships that reinforce brand loyalty and ultimately drive growth.
They challenge traditional approaches to market research that measure "customer satisfaction" from a rear-window perspective, and help companies and their customers look forward instead.
“In today’s customer-empowered world, collaboration and co-creation competencies are critical to the future growth of a company…Gaurav Bhalla offers a concrete framework and specific examples that managers can use to implement value co-creation programs with their customers. A must-read for companies not wishing to get left behind!”
Vijay Govindarajan, Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
“Collaboration and co-creation is the sweet spot for rethinking how companies should practice marketing and innovation…Gaurav Bhalla’s book is very timely, and offers readers an effective way for building businesses around customers.”
Nicolas Mirzayantz, Group President, Fragrances, International Flavors and Fragrances
“Companies can't afford to fake it. Customer-driven innovation has moved from the edge to become a core business practice. Gaurav Bhalla helps you understand what it takes to make this shift, and not a moment too soon.”
John Hagel III, Co-Chairman, Deloitte Center for the Edge, and co-author, The Power of Pull
“If running your business seems more difficult lately, reading this book will help you understand why. It will also provide insights into how collaboration and co-creation can improve your company’s performance.”
Vince Barabba, Author, Meeting of the Minds, and Founder and Chairman, Market Insight Corporation
“Gaurav Bhalla is after big game: how the world’s leading institutions are connecting and collaborating with their most important asset – their customers – in novel and important ways…This book is an important one to read for any marketing, market research, or product innovation professional.”
Steve Howe, CEO, Passenger
“Based on my research it is clear that user co-creation is a strong driver for transforming the marketing and innovation programs of those companies that dare to listen and respond. Gaurav Bhalla provides a solid framework to guide this process and a rich set of case stories to explain why and how.”
Jacob Buur, Professor of Participatory Innovation, Research Director of SPIRE, University of Southern Denmark