Doing it together is the new way to be individualistic as a brand or organization. People love to be a part of something that values their input. More and more they collaborate online with others to make things happen. This is a trend that we also find in terms as co-creation, co-design, co-working and anything else that “co-” can be added to.
Doing something together has always been important to people. In the current trend we see that they want to be part of some kind of together that values their personality, their input and ultimately their presence. And once they have found that group within their own interests, they are willing to invest time, money and knowledge to achieve something that they would not be able to achieve on their own. As an organization, this trend can be of incredible value to you.
There is a fair chance that you have heard this already. Co-creating with your target audience is a great way to get people involved. And once people are involved they want to share it with their friends, their family and anyone else they think can benefit from their experience. Besides the huge network that is reachable through such an initiative, it is also a great way to tap the brains of your target audience, which allows you to learn about their preferences, the way they use your products, the way in which they value you and many other things. All those things you previously hired market research companies for is now available to you, right where you want it. On your own doorstep, connected to your own project.
However, the big question for many people remains how they can apply these principles to whatever it is they are doing. And lack of knowledge has given birth to many different excuses. “Our company does not have an online focus, and co-creation is always based around something online.” Or: “You have to be an expert to create a product like ours, our users don’t really understand what is behind what we do.” And an even worse excuse I overheard at a government agency: “People are not interested in what we want to achieve. So co-anything does not interest me as we just initiate our own projects and the general public just has to deal with it by the time it is finished.” However, these excuses really miss the point. Doing it together can be much bigger than the excuses you can come up with. And once you see that, you can think of how you can facilitate the process. Your product might be too complicated for your users to design. But your users will have very clear ideas of what they would like your new product to be. At that point you can easily add a technician from your organization to translate the wishes of the participants into something that can be used to create a product.
Doing it together does not have to lead to a physical product. It can be used for anything. It is about getting people together to work towards a single goal. Whether or not that goal has to be set by you is another question that you might want to ask yourself. If you are operating in the public domain, as a government agency for instance, it could be that your ultimate success lies in having people define their own goal and then facilitating them to gather people around that goal. And at some point they will look at you in the execution stages of the project, or they might even take that in their own hands. That all depends on how you facilitate and encourage them to be successful in reaching the goal they have set.
As a rule of thumb, remember that regardless of what you do, this is a trend that will allow you to grow your organization with knowledge, time, network reach and sometimes even funds that would not have been available otherwise. And as a second thing, give your target audience the credit they deserve. This means that yes, they will be able to help you achieve great things through their passion for what you are doing.
This post is part of a series on 10 social trends that can help you get your point across. For more information or a tailored advice on what could be your opportunities, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org