Integrating customers in product and service development processes for understanding their needs and learn from those needs has become an essential part of the organisation’s development and innovation processes (Edvarsson et al., 2010). Companies that rely upon traditional ways of product development of company-centric practices are confronted by decreased customer satisfaction and decline in growth. Most organisations recognise Customer-oriented development as one of the main success factors in today’s competitive environment, which allows companies to develop products and services to fulfil real customer needs and requirements and thus reduce the waste and increase customer satisfaction (Revans, 1998). The traditional company-centric value creation modes of development are not working in today’s emerging economy. Companies are now trying to shift their focus from utilising only internal resources to towards leveraging external resources, especially competences of customers and partners to regain the competitive advantage.
What is Co-creation
Ramaswamy et al. (2010) define co-creation as a practice where services, products and systems are developed together through collaboration with different stakeholders. In cocreation premise, the distinction between producer and consumer disappear, as consumers both define and create value for themselves (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). Ojasalo (2010) states that a company can achieve a significant competitive advantage by adopting more profound value co-creation understanding.
“Co-creation helps companies reducing the market risks and improving the return on investment and time to market by better addressing the customer’s latent needs”
(Westerlund and Leminen, 2011).
Co-creation refers to a service design process in which input from consumers plays a central role from beginning to end. In the other hand, the term is also used for any way in which a business allows consumers to submit ideas, designs or content. Rindfleisch and O’Hern categorise different types of co-creation based on how strict the requirements on submissions are (fixed vs open) and if the selection is made by the customers themselves or by the firm (firm-led vs customer-led). They distinguish four types of co-creation, which roughly correspond to the four possible combinations of the contribution and selection styles, like this:
- Collaborating: open contribution, customer-led selection
- Tinkering: open contribution, firm-led selection
- Co-designing: fixed contribution, customer-led selection
- Submitting: fixed contribution, firm-led selection
Right now, users can participate in creating content for Udemy educational service, which is count as user-generated content. But to build more trust in the service, Udemy has to put more collaboration with users. A great example in this context is Wikipedia and Google map. In both these services users can have a direct influence on verifying content. Although right now users have a direct impact on creating content lack of trust can be solved with more collaboration with users.
Udemy position in co-creation Framework
As it is shown in the graph Udemy uses different co-creators directly and indirectly that the main one is the teacher users who help Udemy in making contents.
Suggestion for better innovative cocreation
As mentioned before not only cocreation reduces the market risk but also act as an improvement tool for organisations. As such, Udemy, as an online educational service provider, can use more than cocreating just in content development. Since one of the biggest problems with Udemy is approving the content of teacher users, it can use the approving method (Co-regulatory) with getting participation of users.
A very successful example of this kind of improvement is in an online service called Google Map Contribution. In this platform, users can act as co-creators in the following aspects: Review a place, Rate a place, Add photos to a place, Answer questions about a place, Edit a place’s information or Edit a road on the map, add a missing place, Check facts about places nearby. And base on these contribution Google will decide to add a place on the map or showing ranking/reviews of a place.
Now, putting Google Map in mind, Udemy can use learner users as approval co-creators to review courses (based on their skill and interest) not only to validate all videos and make trust but also it can act as Gamification tools for learner users as well. They can gain points and access to some premium features by reviewing other videos,