Social sigma is the use of digital feedback to improve products.

The boring graphic to the left shows that social is gaining traction on the product development front. Our most recent report, written for consumer product strategy professionals, will help your employees with the “how” of social sigma (which the report calls “co-creation”). It provides a social asset tracking scorecard and a social co-creation action plan to help your product strategists get started.

The report identifies nine reasons to embrace social sigma. Chief executives should take special note of the following three:

  • Social Sigma humanizes the company, This is happening today at Domino’s Pizza, Ford Motor Co., and Starbucks. Transparency breeds customer loyalty.
  • Risk is mitigated: 80% of products fail. Co-creation of  products with customers will improve this math.
  • Social sigma is cheap. 83% of companies are already using social — no new platforms or programs are needed to extend into co-creation.

Budgets and technology are not blocking companies from using social sigma — fear is the biggest barrier. Fear that customers will expose bad products, that competitors will gather ammunition, that negative feedback will scare away potential customers. But hey, that’s your job as CEO — to build enough courage and humility in your organization to confront the brutal facts, learn from them, and use them to ultimately win in the marketplace.