We can see several dimensions of co-creation in the mass collaboration era. The main issue for companies is to become transparent, to build trust and create a design dialogue together with employees and collaborators around the world. By bringing in user groups into the design process, companies can better understand needs and encourage contribution. This is not only true for offices, but for companies and their customers.

For example, many companies have worked together with their fan base to harness and release the power of their highly engaged customers. An increasing number of companies have introduced a new role in the board of directors, the CCO, Chief Customer Officer, an executive who provides the comprehensive and authoritative view of the customer. This person can be responsible for influencing the company’s strategies and customer relations from user interfaces and call centres, to involving customers in innovation processes.

Companies and customers work together to push design further into the future

Now, companies also start up or participate in collaborative thought cells or structures where the company can cultivate the crowd and encourage customers to self-organise and share their ideas in the creative process. Examples of companies like this range from Nokia, who released 3D-printing software files to encourage people to design and make their own phone cases, to Uber who partners with different companies in campaigns, to Candlewood Suites who launched the initiative “Lending Locker” which enabled guests to borrow household items not usually found in hotel rooms. And let’s not forget Kickstarter, where anyone can pitch an idea and raise funding for it from the masses. The list goes on. As the digital revolution continues to unfold and the world becomes more connected by the minute, this paradigm shift is entering a more mature phase. Co-creating and mass collaborating is truly implemented when companies and customers work together to push design further.

This article has been taken from the Kinnarps Trend Report 2015. Click here to download the full research paper.