According to Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004), there is a continuous shift in the meaning of value and the process of creation of value. The change is changing from the old fashioned view of product and firm to a more personalized consumer experience. Consumers are now empowered; they are active, networked and informed and are now working together with companies to co-create value. Consumers are now valuing products and services based on their experience, and therefore the market has become a spot for the forum, discussion and interaction between customer communities and organizations. In this reflective essay, the focus will be on the importance of sponsored and autonomous co-creation in the digital economy.
According to Zwass (2010), co-creation is about the creation of value by customers. On the other hand, autonomous cocreation involves individuals or consumer communities who come together to produce marketable value in charitable activities directed self-sufficiently of any established firm, although they may be using stages given by such companies, which benefit economically. Sponsored co-creation may involve the participation of consumers with ideas on product improvement and can win a gift or money for their thoughts.
One of the importance of sponsored an autonomous co-creation in the digital economy is there is broad accessibility where means of production are readily available. The internet has resulted in a lot of changes, but the one significant change is that it has made it possible for the whole world to quickly, cheaply and readily interact. It is now possible for an individual to access the services and products from a company that is millions of kilometres away. The use of computers and the internet has been embraced with the literacy level always on the rise. This, therefore, means that more and more people will be using the computer and will be able to make part of the market. Organizations, therefore, have a wider base to rely on regarding market and consumers to help in co-creation. According to Mazzara & University of Newcastle (2012), the increased number of consumers who are in the digital economy means that based on their experience with different products and service from individual firms, they can discuss on the available platforms be it on social media or emails. At the same time, certain firms can give venues for consumers to contribute. A good example is Wikipedia, which gives room for customers to edit or add information on sites they feel they are not satisfied with. Another venue is the music lyrics websites that allow users to edit words they feel are wrong.
The internet has allowed for the creation of virtual communities. The virtual communities are significant because they discuss and interact on issues of brand, products and services. Through sponsored an autonomous co-creation, the virtual communities can be used to gauge the performance of a product, service or brand. The discussion that goes on in the communities can give a good suggestion of what to expect from the product or service. The communities can be productive creators of social capital. In close relation, there is collective intelligence. By coming together, the virtual communities become more intelligent based on shared information and knowledge. Such knowledge is usually used to deal with price matters like the stock exchange. Most of the cooperation instances of group members in working to achieve their mutual goal appear as a behavior learned after recurrent, eventually successful, connections and communication (Fernandes & Remelhe, 2016). Therefore with such interaction levels then a virtual community can be used to enhance an organization appearance and performance in the digital economy.
According to research, free revealing can give substantial private profits to co-creators. The commons, open access and open source are resources that are universally shared; for example software such as a public office. To add value to the products, consumers have free access and are frequently used to test new features of the product and based on the feedback; the organization can go ahead and release the product or hold back and make necessary improvement. In this case, the co-creation helps in ensuring that organizations come up with the best quality regarding service and products.
Firms open themselves to external efforts from individuals who can be existing customers or potential customers. As much as organizations may feel that there are several internal innovators within the company the belief is that there are many people outside the enterprise who can develop innovations. As seen earlier there are virtual communities that interact, communicate and exchange valuable information about the market, products and organizations. The same communities have collective intelligence and in their midst, there can be innovators (Rayna, Striukova & Darlington, 2015). Therefore sponsored and autonomous co-creation can help in innovation. The consumers who are the ones using the products always know more than the producer of the product therefore if there is a need for improvement they can best come up with the solution.
In conclusion, sponsored and autonomous co-creation has changed the way consumers and firms interact. There is a more distinct way of interaction that can be used to determine how well the consumers are embracing the durable product or service. The importance of sponsored and autonomous co-creation is that with the help of the internet, firms can now understand their customers better. Consumers can now contribute to improving the products and services through collective intelligence and allowed open innovation routes.
Fernandes, T., &Remelhe, P. (June 06, 2016). How to engage customers in co-creation: customers motivations for collaborative innovation. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 24, 311-326.
Mazzara, M., & University of Newcastle upon Tyne. (2012). Social networks and collective intelligence: A return to the Agora. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Computing Science, Newcastle University.
Prahalad, C. K., &Ramaswamy, V. (2004). The future of competition: Co-creating unique value with customers. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Pub.
Rayna, T., Striukova, L., & Darlington, J. (July 01, 2015). Co-creation and user innovation: The role of online 3D printing platforms. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 37, 90-102.
Zwass, V. (January 01, 2010). Co-Creation: Toward a Taxonomy and an Integrated Research Perspective. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 15, 1, 11-48.
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