Monday, 2 February 2015

The Future of Co-creation – ‘Customer’ made!

Advertising and marketing are changing and more than ever, and it's the customers who are pulling the strings. The Internet has given customers ever-increasing powers to research, compare, and review brands, enabling both good and bad customer experiences to be broadcast to the world. This is proving challenging for many companies, who've always exercised so much control over their brand messages.
But many brands are harnessing the power of the Internet and "social proof" by optimizing user-generated content (UGC). These are the brands that understand the power of co-creating their brand together with consumers and tapping into the creativity of their biggest fans. For most companies, this also means encouraging—and actively participating in—reviews of their products/services and conversations around them, either on their own, or on third party websites.

Brand communication has evolved from one-to-many and one-to-one-to-many - what’s been dubbed a ‘trialogue’, with consumers accessing and sharing brand information, using a multitude of online platforms to engage brands and each other in community forums
What’s more, consumption is no longer limited to simply purchasing a product or service, but has become a way to interrogate and comment about the purchase itself. Society is more outspoken about how brands can add value to them, and as a result, many companies are opening themselves up to collaborating and co-creating solutions with their consumers in order to deliver a better value.
We are all familiar with the term ‘collaboration’. Simply put, it’s about working together, especially in a joint intellectual effort. And ‘co-creation’? Doing the above in creative manner – what is also known as ‘collaborative creation’. It therefore demands we open ourselves up to new ideas, accept new norms, embrace new ways of seeing the world and, sometimes quite courageously, take comfort in the road less traveled. 

Consumers want to feel part of something bigger, and brands give them a way to do that. Powerful global brands can enable young consumers in frontier markets to feel plugged-in to a world-class   experience. Companies can reinforce that perception by connecting communities of consumers across new and existing markets. Mingling with existing fans can initiate new consumers into the folklore of the brand and provide added social reinforcement for them to become enthusiasts and evangelists themselves, among the communities where their voices are most credible. Luxury brands are especially good at creating these kinds of communities through messages of exclusivity.  In the era of global Wikibranding, those strategies are available to a much wider range of businesses with a broader set of target customers.

Megabrands and smaller companies alike are harnessing the power of user-generated content by mobilizing their audiences in social sharing, both on- and off-line. Instead of looking at online review sites and other social sharing tools as enemies of your business, why not find ways to engage customers in creating your marketing content for you. For this, based in Delhi with branches in Bangalore and Mumbai, Flags Communications can let you march ahead through its innovative ideas!

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