Get Creative to Get Inspired by Your Customers

The best innovation comes from a diversity of perspectives. That’s the idea behind crowdsourcing, but many brands don’t take it far enough. They again believe that it’s all about volume: lots of people, brainstorming lots of (often “me-too”) ideas. These methodologies may be great for coming up with a new name or flavor, but they ignore the myriad ways companies can collaborate with their customers up and down the product lifecycle, from need identification to concept development to refinement and iteration. So if you really want creative, out-of-the-box thinking, you need to think seriously and creatively about not just how many respondents to sample, but about how to actively engage the hearts and minds of a diversity of people.

At C Space, we know from first-hand observation that anyone can be a creative and productive contributor, given the right setting, structure, and assignment, but we also know that many standard methodologies don’t go deep enough to harness participants’ unique creative strengths.

In this study, we look at some of our current communities to understand how member engagement is related to the structure and purpose of activities. We’ll review the results of an analysis exploring the relationship between the number and types of activities used to engage consumers in online communities and the volume and frequency of their participation. Then, we’ll look at some examples that showcase how a diversity of tools and techniques help consumers to leverage their inherent creativity and encourage the personal reflection and thoughtful disclosure that drives deep insight and innovation.

Katrina Lerman, Associate Director, Research, C Space