Customers *Must* Be Part of the Co-Creation Process

The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 226 executives at global enterprises to find out how smart companies innovate as part of a Oracle sponsored study about cultivating business-led innovation.


One of the key findings of the study has been that “companies furthest along the innovation path utilize customer data and customer participation in their product and service improvements. Fifty-four percent of respondents in this group actively collect customer feedback and analyze customer data for clues to innovate effectively, but in different ways.”

As Oracle SVP Bob Evans blogs: “Customers *Must* Be Part of the Co-Creation Process. As companies of all sizes and across all industries realize that the co-creation of value and of experiences with customers can be a profound way to boost customer loyalty, they also must recognize that relevant innovation in a customer-free vacuum is impossible. Mid-size and smaller companies ($500 million or less) connect directly with customers in interviews about product design and testing, while companies with revenue above $1 billion or more likely to use social technology and sentiment analysis to uncover customer-focused innovations.”

You can find the details of this study & the report at the Oracle feature page or The Economist Intelligence Unit site.

Customers make it to 2008 trends list

BusinessWeek’s 2008 Innovation Prediction lists customers as more powerful than competitors. The reason – disruptive innovation is coming more from places other than the competitive environment.
== Consumer collaboration for innovation
== Listen to the voice of your customers even better that you understand them better
== Customer strategy is the only strategy
== Focus on customer experience

Check the slideshow ( for the complete list of predictions.

Drucker on Customers

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

Are you customer focused?

In a world where customers (both end consumers and intermediate customers) are becoming increasingly powerful, all companies declare that they are “customer-focused”. Few really are. How does one determine if you are or not?

John Hagel offers questions, the answers to which could answer if you are customer focsed.

  1. Power Core – Who in the organization holds real decision-making power? Is it the organization that manages relationships with the customer or is it some other group?
  2. KPIs – What are the primary measures of performance for the firm?
  3. Brand Promise – What is the primary focus of the brand promise of the company?

Reference: Tests for Customer Focused Companies