While co-creation is certainly a hot topic these days, the fact is that for most companies, social co-creation is relatively immature. Based on a panel survey of consumer product strategy professionals conducted in Q2 2010,  just 38% of companies use social media to to involve consumers directly in the product creation or innovation process (that is, 46% of the 83% of companies who engage with consumers using social media). Consumer product strategy professionals who are using social media assets to enable co-creation are doing one or more of the following: 

  • Engaging with fans on Facebook, Twitter, corporate blogs and public communities to generate ideas and opinions about products and services;
  • Generating new ideas through dedicated ideation sites (like Ford's "Your Ideas" site);
  • Leveraging existing listening platforms to reveal product ideas from online conversations, either on the company's own site or elsewhere on the Web;
  • Analyzing online product ratings and reviews to uncover areas of improvement or unmet needs in the marketplace; or
  • Using private online communities to create a dialog with a specific audience for product creation purposes.

Using existing social technologies to develop social co-creation engagements makes sense: Barriers to entry are low and benefits are numerous. Toward that end, I've just published a report entitled, "How To Turn Social Media Assets Into Social Co-Creation Assets." As the name implies, this report will help consumer product strategy professionals identify, implement and track their social co-creation initiatives for a given product using a three-pronged social co-creation adoption tool:

  • Social asset tracking scorecard.  Consumer product strategists should use the social asset tracking scorecard to identify social assets that are currently in use somewhere in the company, then score their ability to utilize those assets for co-creation purposes. More points are awarded as the social media asset matures into a social co-creation asset.
  • Social co-creation maturity index. Once the scorecard is complete, consumer product stragists can calculate the social co-creation maturity index, based on the social media assets in use and the relative maturity of each for co-creation. But don't stop there: Map the index against the number of social media assets your company has in place to identify next steps for developing more co-creation assets.
  • Social co-creation action plan. To build out a more mature social co-creation strategy, product strategists should follow our action plan for each social asset. We offer guidance on how to turn the social media asset into a useful co-creation asset that can help product strategy professionals make better products.

Check out the report for a lot more detail, including downloadable scorecards (in Excel) that incorporate the maturity index formula. I'd love to hear any feedback you might have on the use of the tool.


Forrester's Social Co-Creation Adoption Tool