A successful Brand Ecosystem is the manifestation of a well-executed brand vision and a finely-tuned go-to-market strategy – but it doesn’t stop there. Next generation brands fully integrate and nurture consumer co-creation across their brand ecosystem.
Brands develop a significant competitive advantage in co-creation by fully leveraging day-to-day connection with a highly collaborative and adaptive group of consumers who are an integral part of the ecosystem. By doing so, brands also develop a built-in rapid test market that can be used to quant test and soft-launch new products. This results in an innovation engine that’s fueled by co-creation across an extended network of consumers and brand constituents/ partners.
At the heart of this finely tuned ecosystem is a consumer who connects with the brand across multiple social media platforms and identifies with some element of brand purpose. To keep these ecosystems dynamic, the best brands identify discrete user groups (via psychographic, behavioral and digital profiles) – who are passionate about particular aspects of the brand purpose, and these consumers are invited into ongoing live discussions focused on carefully selected, strategic growth runways.
Contrast this approach with the old well-established ‘side-bar’ approach to collaborative innovation using traditional online panels or insight communities and you have an entirely different co-creation dynamic.
In a humming ecosystem, consumers are purpose-aligned, motivated and ready to drive co-creation.
Here’s how to kickstart your Ecosystem Driven innovation and start really co-creating:
Nurture the Co-Creators
- Map the current ecosystem for your brand and your main competitors – create an innovation, co-creation centric vision for your ecosystem.
- Identify Customer Journeys (including apps) that are particularly suited for collaboration/ innovation
- Define types of Consumer psychographics and digital profiles (through analytics) that align with a particular aspect of your brand purpose and are therefore, by definition, consumer types who are motivated to co-create with your extended brand team.
- Identify brand team members and partner vendors who can become the face and voice of your co-creation.
- Develop a live-lab philosophy – driven by real-time conversations with targeted consumers regarding strategic innovation topics / opportunities.
- Fire-up your innovation engine across selected digital / social media platforms and apps – challenge the brand team to stay connected and collaborate on a whole new level in real-time – but with strategic output focus.
- Proactively identify and feed-in disruptive new benefit platforms, ideas and digital stimulus to explore and tune fully positioned ideas
- Identify and fully integrate strategic co-creation partners that bring the following essential skillsets into your ecosystem:
- disruptive outside-in, cross-category thinking
- disruptive consumer target profiling – e.g. advanced aspiration based mindset segmentation, psychographic and digital profiling
- Co-creation opportunity mapping – strategic platform creation
- full co-creation stimulus generation – e.g. design, Ux storyboarding, projective semiotics, brand journey mapping, perceptual mapping, total sensory/ experiential co-creation, brand positioning constructs etc.
- super-honed digital platform-oriented moderator/ facilitator skills – real-time and asynchronous
- third party objective assessment