Co-Creation Event, an initiative of RedesignMe

A half-day event that brought together people from multiple disciplines around one topic: co-creation.

Co-creation is a buzz word, that is a fact. Everyone, from every discipline (including market research) is preaching about it. But my feeling throughout the event and the chats I had during the breaks was, that it is ‘cool’ to tell that you co-create as a company and that co-creation is rather a goal than a means to innovate better. I sometimes doubted whether co-creation is supposed to contribute to corporate reputation rather than to better innovation, and whether decision makers truly believe in the added value of it for ultimately getting more return on innovation investments.
The first keynote speaker, Martijn Staal, was a consultant that gave an overview of different co-creation philosophies and the evolution and trends in the current market. The second keynote was the Innovation Manager of Sara Lee, Johan Sanders, who talked about how to organize and nurture co-creation in a global company like Sara Lee. Many challenges, but even more opportunities to involve stakeholders throughout the innovation process in an open platform. What struck me is the degree of open innovation. ‘Real innovation‘ (radical innovation that goes beyond line extensions) is still conducted in a closed platform, for obvious reasons (TOP SECRET).
I assume the consecutive workshops were also very interesting, but I had to give 2 workshops myself. In the workshop, I presented our framework of innovators and gatekeepers. This was received quite well both among innovation managers, product developers and marketers. I even received very positive feedback of our competitor BLAUW.
Tom De Ruyck showed the results of our R&D study we conducted with Heinz. The study provides proof that our way of involving consumers in the ideation phase of innovation works.
During the event I met several interesting people. One of them is the inventor of the storm-proof umbrella (Senz). He co-owns a small company of 16 people centered around 1 single technological innovation. A very interesting story!
In retrospect (after being able to discuss with Tom when queuing in the traffic jam on the E314), I now understand better that connected research as such provides a very good platform to co-create. But this should not only be restricted to front-end innovation research. In each phase of the innovation process, co-creation should be fostered and not only in innovation research. Throughout our total portfolio, we should use open platforms that allow to co-create with our consumers. Hallelujah!
BTW: The reception was typically Dutch, with the obligate ‘bitterballen’ and Dommelsch beer 😉
For more information, you can contact Filip De Boeck,

You might also be interested in

The insight community toolbox: ‘do’ activities

We all know that what people say, does not always correspond with what they actually do. This phenomenon is also referred to as the ‘say-do gap’ and is especially visible in topics where people are prone to maintain a positive image by giving socially desirable responses. This often explains deviating election-poll results, or why stats are off for sensitive topics such as racism, substance use, smoking, or bankruptcies. Wanting to understand human behavior, it is thus not enough to focus on what people ‘think’ and ‘feel’; what they ‘do’ is another vital part of the research mix.

The insight community toolbox: ‘feel’ activities

Neuroscientists have found that if the brain’s emotions network is damaged, people would lose their ability not only to laugh or cry, but also to make decisions. Likewise, when making a decision, one does not say ‘What do I think about this’, but rather ‘How do I feel about this’. Clearly, emotions are key drivers of decision making.
This strong impact of emotions on behavior also has implications for marketing research, where ‘feel’ activities should be an integral part of the research mix.

The insight community toolbox: ‘think’ activities

For a long time, the dominant belief among philosophers, scientists and economists was that humans – and their decision making – are driven predominantly by ratio, and this was no different in marketing research. While we now understand that human behavior is complex and requires a multi-dimensional approach, ‘think’ activities are still an important part of the research mix – they allow to grasp the perceptions, opinions and attitudes people can easily express.