The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0263-4503.htm
Customer community and
co-creation: a case study
Jennifer Rowley, Beata Kupiec-Teahan and Edward Leeming
Bangor Business School, University of Wales, Bangor, UK
Received December 2005
Revised November 2005,
Accepted January 2007
Purpose – This paper aims to provide insights into the development and management of a customer community, informing product innovation and engaging customers in co-creation of a consumption experience.
Design/methodology/approach – A review of the state of current knowledge about co-production, co-creation and customer communities is followed by discussion of the case study methodology. The case history of a leading player in the UK and international “sportkiting” market focuses on product innovation and customer-community development. Discussion reﬂects in more detail on the lessons from the case for application of the principles in practice. Findings – The case company’s innovative product development strategy provides the catalyst for co-creation of a customer experience. Its marketing actions extend beyond product development and innovation to actively co-creating experiences with customers, fostering a sense of community among users, facilitating communication within that community, acting on the feedback, and continuously developing and maintaining the community relationship.
Research limitations/implications – The company’s marketing strategy can be summed up as “customer community leadership”. This paradigm proposes a new role for businesses in sectors where there is a potential to develop and engage communities. It provides a context for the effective facilitation of customer knowledge management, within which marketing intelligence plays a signiﬁcant role. The ﬁndings offer scope for further research into the nature of this phenomenon and its relevance to co-creation in other industry sectors, and into numerous aspects of the processes and impacts associated with customer communities.
Originality/value – The case contributes to the literature of co-creation, demonstrating how it has been achieved through a marketing strategy and marketing mix in a particular customer community. Keywords Customer relations, Innovation, Relationship marketing, Leadership Paper type Case study
Marketing Intelligence & Planning
Vol. 25 No. 2, 2007
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The increased complexity, globalization and knowledge-intensity of marketplaces require all businesses to make better use of their technological, organizational and marketing competences in order to survive. Contemporary organizations in highly competitive and highly innovative markets must be able to build market share quickly, by delivering fast, high quality, innovative solutions. The changing organisational environment has driven interest in organisational learning and knowledge management (Drucker, 1993; Prusak, 1997). Many studies have conﬁrmed customer knowledge as one of the most important knowledge bases for an organisation (Bennett and Gabriel, 1999; Chase, 1997), and there is a considerable interest in the potential of “co-production” and “co-creation” either individually or in community contexts, to enhance innovation and business performance (Gibbert et al., 2002). Focus on the engagement of customers in organizational learning, innovation and knowledge processes heralds the dawn of a new paradigm of marketing intelligence in
which data and information are not simply gathered into databases and distilled to inform management decision making, but rather marketing intelligence is embedded in dynamic co-creation processes that involve customers as partners rather than subjects. Through a case study analysis and critique of a leading manufacturer of kiteboarding equipment, this...
References: Armstrong, A.G. and Hagel, J. (1996), “The real value of online communities”, Harvard Business
Bennett, R. and Gabriel, H.I. (1999), “Organisational factors and knowledge management within
large marketing departments: an empirical study”, Journal of Knowledge Management,
Bolton, R.N., Kannan, P.K. and Bramlett, M.D. (2000), “Implications of loyalty program
membership and services experience for customer retention and value”, Journal of the
Bommer, M. and Jalajas, D.S. (2004), “Innovation sources of large and small technology-based
ﬁrms”, IEEE Transactions of Engineering Management, Vol
Butscher, S.A. (2002), Customer Loyalty Programmes and Clubs, 2nd ed., Gower, Aldershot.
Buttle, F. (1996), Relationship Marketing: Theory and Practice, Paul Chapman, London.
Campbell, A.J. (2003), “Creating customer knowledge competence: managing customer
relationship management programs strategically”, Industrial Marketing Management,
Chase, R.L. (1997), “The knowledge-based organization: an international survey”, Journal of
Knowledge Management, Vol
Dahlsten, F. (2004), “Hollywood wives revisited: a study of customer involvement in the XC90
project at Volvo Cars”, European Journal of Management, Vol
Davenport, E. and Hall, H. (2002), “Organizational knowledge and communities of practice”,
Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Vol
Dholakia, U.M., Bagozzi, R.P. and Pearo, L.K. (2004), “A social inﬂuence model of consumer
participation in network- and small-group-based virtual communities”, International
Drucker, P.F. (1993), Post-capitalist Society, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.
Foss, B. and Stone, M. (2001), Successful Customer Relationship Marketing, Kogan Page, London.
Gibbert, M., Leibold, M. and Probst, G. (2002), “Five styles of customer knowledge management,
and how smart companies use them to create value”, European Management Journal,
Gustafsson, A., Roos, I. and Edvardsson, B. (2004), “Customer clubs in a relationship perspective:
a telecom case”, Managing Service Quality, Vol
Hall, H. and Graham, D. (2004), “Creation and recreation: motivating collaboration to generate
knowledge capital in online communities”, International Journal of Information
Healy, M., Hastings, K., Brown, L. and Gardiner, M. (2001), “The old, the new and the
complicated – a trilogy of marketing relationships”, European Journal of Marketing,
Hsieh, L.F. and Chen, S.K. (2005), “Incorporating voice of the consumer: does it really work?”,
Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol
Kristensson, P., Gustafsson, A. and Archer, T. (2004), “Harnessing the creative potential among
users”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol
Li, X. and Wei, W. (2004), “Trends of experience consumption and advantages of experience
marketing”, Proceedings of the International Conference on Management Science &
Engineering,Vol. 1/2, pp. 1463-6.
Lilien, G.L., Morrison, P.D., Searls, K., Sonnack, M. and von Hippel, E. (2002), “Performance
assessment of the lead user idea-generating process for new product development”,
Management Science, Vol. 48 No. 8, pp. 1042-59.
Massey, A.P., Monotoya-Weiss, M.M. and Holcom, K. (2001), “Reengineering the customer
relationship: leveraging knowledge assets at IBM”, Decision Support Systems, Vol
Matthing, J., Sanden, B. and Edvardsson, B. (2004), “New service development: learning from and
with customers”, International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol
Mauri, C. (2003), “Card loyalty: a new emerging issue in grocery retailing”, Journal of
Retiling and Consumer Services, Vol
Nambisan, S. (2002), “Designing virtual customer environments for new product development:
toward a theory”, Academy of Management Review, Vol
Passingham, J. (1998), “Grocery retailing and the loyalty card”, Journal of the Market Research
Peck, H., Payne, A., Christopher, M. and Clark, M. (1999), Relationship Marketing: Strategy and
Implementation, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.
Pitta, D.A. and Fowler, D. (2005), “Internet community forums: an untapped resource for
consumer markets”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol
Prahalad, C.K. and Ramaswamy, V. (2000), “Co-opting customer competence”, Harvard Business
Prusak, L. (1997), Knowledge in Organisations, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.
Salomo, S., Steinhoff, F. and Trommsdorff, V. (2003), “Customer orientation in innovation
projects and new product development success – the moderating effect of product
Stauss, B., Chojnacki, K., Decker, A. and Hoffmann, F. (2001), “Retention effects of a customer
club”, International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol
Wenger, E. (2000), “Communities of practice and social learning systems”, Organization, Vol. 7
Worthington, S. (2000), “A classic example of a misnomer: the loyalty card”, Journal of
Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, Vol
Yin, R.K. (1994), Case Study Research, 2nd ed., Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Zoliewski, J. (2004), “Relationships are not ubiquitous in marketing”, European Journal of
Hagel, J. and Armstrong, A.G. (1997), Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual
Please join StudyMode to read the full document