Friday, May 26, 2006

Continuing the conversation on co-creation

As many of you know from reading LM, I'm convinced that library marketing is becoming an open-source endeavor shared by librarians and patrons. However, just what that means and how to do it are key questions that marketers are trying to sort out. I've been reading over a series of posts on What's Your Brand Mantra that address this idea of co-creation and how it's different from collaboration, and there's been an excellent discussion going on. Give these a read:

I'd recommend reading the comments too, because they flesh out the discussion and highlight a number of related books and articles. One comment pointed to the Customer Innovation Blog and a post where the author proposes two factors that distinguish the many different styles of co-creation along with a PowerPoint slide that presents the 8 different styles of co-creation that emerge.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on these entries. In services, we're always developing our "products" along with our patrons, but to varying degrees. Marketing services in this way is tricky because, as What's Your Brand Mantra author Jennifer Rice points out, "Services: This is another tough one. Typically a service company exists to do something that a customer doesn't want to do." However, I think there's great value in co-creation. By working closely with patrons, we gain insights into their needs, get greater buy-in, and increase transparency so to build trust and strengthen relationships. So, how then, in libraries, can we motivate patrons to participate in our service development and to what extent? I'll revisit this topic next week with some thoughts, but please share your own!

Categories: must_reads | neat_trends | resource_roundup

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