Thursday, March 4, 2010

Consumers adding value

Key to companys´s success is in creating value for customers while differentiating itself from competition. The term co-creation has appeal in companies´ current strategy work in regards to involving employees or customers in the development of new services. There are new methods involving the consumers or employees, though the processes are still rarely used nor used on a systematic basis. Richard Priem (2007) suggests consumer perspective is potentially important for strategic management since consumers experiencing company benefits are adding more value to the process.

Altogether companies could find new ways of increasing profitability through consumers creating more value and increasing a single purchase. The key to consumers adding value is to have them experience the brand during consumption. Everybody benefits from services improvements. Starbucks, typical example of a successful brand where consumers are sitting in the well designed cafes, listening to music, reading books, buying good coffee and Starbucks accessories. But can there be more than a sofa to a brand experience? Starbucks presents ways of involving the customer and adding value to the whole coffee drinking process. First of all, you can help Haiti through going to Starbucks stores. What else? Moderated Starbucks idea generator online by Sally and Brendan (real people with real moderator jobs) who collect customers suggestions on service improvements. And not just collecting ideas but actually reporting which ideas have been implemented and who suggested them. All suggestions are divided in 3 ideas categories: products, experiences and involvement (eg community involvement and social responsibility). All registered Starbucks community members have a chance to see the given ideas and give their vote on them or generate further ideas. And if my or my friend´s idea was implemented at Starbucks, I would definitely go and see how it´s done in the stores. More coffee, please.