Massive Briefing “Customer-Made” at

Posted on Monday 8 May 2006

Extensive article on active customer involvement currently online as a Trendwatching-Briefing available. There is also a PDF Download.

Will brand-driven consumer involvement overtax the audience?

Posted on Sunday 23 April 2006

Pamela Parker asks a few very relevant questions in her recent piece You and Your Users, Marketing Together on ClickZ, namely: Is the CDI tactic of creating competitions for consumers and customers, for advertising development, quickly turning into a fad? How many more competitions of this sort will the audience want to accept, before people simply tune out and – again – look elsewhere? (Thanks to Stéphane at Spheeris for the pointer.)

Consumer Empowerment should to be looked at strategically, not as a mere advertising tactic. Essentially, I see two ways of doing it right: a) You look for those people who really have a strong emotional connection with your brand, and you carefully choose a few of them, invite them to participate in major decisions and developments, as a “consumer advisory panel” or “consumer innovation panel” that will not only give good advice but also spread the word, on their blogs and elsewhere. Lego has shown that some people are even willing to spend money on this! b) You use well-organised mass-voting events where large numbers of people jointly get to have a say about decisions that are being taken at your company, in online polling. Every participant can join and participate quickly, without any hassle, and afterwards they must be shown that their contribution counted. Voilà.

Asking consumers to create ads is a tactical sideline, not a strategic option.

Martin Oetting @ 10:31 am
Filed under: Letting Clients Call the Shots on Marketing (B2B)
Whirlpool Consumer Driven Innovation

Posted on Monday 27 March 2006

Business Week has a story on what electrical goods brand Whirlpool dubs consumer-driven innovation (CDI) model of . Interesting that CDI is a being appropriated as a term for any innovation that builds on consumer needs. Does CDI need consumer participation – or just consumer listening? Hmm…

Paul Marsden @ 6:50 pm
Filed under: Letting Consumers Call the Shots on Innovation (B2C)
Economist Article on CDI

Posted on Friday 10 March 2006

Nice quote from the Economist “Not only is the customer king: now he is market-research head, R&D chief and product-development manager, too.”

The article drawing on the first book on CDI (consumer driven innovation) – Democratizing Innovation by Eric von Hippel at $19.77 from Amazon, free to download here

The article covers CDI initiatives by GE, BMW, Staples and EA.

Paul Marsden @ 8:49 pm
Filed under: Letting Consumers Call the Shots on Innovation (B2C)
Danone’s latest CDI campaign

Posted on Friday 10 March 2006

So French CPG Giant Danone are doing CDI (consumer driven innovation) – Online and SMS poll to decide the flavor of their next dessert. Watch out if you look at the site in the office – you’ll be zapped by a very loud French jingle…

Thanks to Spheeris for the link

Paul Marsden @ 3:02 pm
Filed under: Letting Consumers Call the Shots on Innovation (B2C)
CDI: Forrester Business Survey

Posted on Friday 10 March 2006

I reently spoke at a Forrester conference on CDI (consumer driven innovation), with big brands (Google, BMW, Paramount Pictures…) present. An interesting survey was conducted amongst the delgates present at the conference about the reality of CDI in their firms. Bottom line – the desire to involve clients, customers and consumers in marketing and innovation is there – but many businesses are not yet set up for it.

Paul Marsden @ 2:46 pm
Filed under: Letting Consumers Call the Shots on Innovation (B2C)
Harvard Business Review on CDI

Posted on Friday 10 March 2006

Need a disclaimer here – I am not working for P&G at the moment: the P&G coverage in this blog is just a consequence of how P&G are leading the field in terms of consumer empowerment and CDI (consumer driven innovation) at the moment, at least in the consumer packaged goods sector.

This week they’re in the Harvard Business Review talking about their Connect + Develop innovation initiative. It’s a sort of fusion between CDI + VC (venture capital) program that harnesses the innovation ideas and entrepreneurial effort of consumers and independant inventors. Results include Olay Regenerist, Swiffer Dusters, the Crest SpinBrush, and the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

The HBR summary is below

“For generations, Procter & Gamble generated most of its phenomenal growth by innovating from within—building global research facilities and hiring the best talent in the world. Back when companies were smaller and the world was less competitive, that model worked just fine. But in 2000, newly appointed CEO A.G. Lafley saw that P&G couldn’t meet its growth objectives by spending greater and greater amounts on R&D for smaller and smaller payoffs. So he dispensed with the company’s age-old “invent it ourselves” approach to innovation and instead embraced a “connect and develop” model. By identifying promising ideas throughout the world and applying its own capabilities to them, P&G realized it could create better and cheaper products, faster. Now, the company collaborates with suppliers, competitors, scientists, entrepreneurs, and others (that’s the connect part), systematically scouring the world for proven technologies, packages, and products that P&G can improve, scale up, and market (in other words, develop), either on its own or in partnership with other companies. Thanks partly to this connect-and-develop approach, R&D productivity at Procter & Gamble has increased by nearly 60%. In the past two years, P&G launched more than 100 new products for which some aspect of development came from outside the company. Among P&G’s most successful connect-and-develop products to hit the market are Olay Regenerist, Swiffer Dusters, the Crest SpinBrush, and the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Most companies are still clinging to a bricks-and-mortar R&D infrastructure and to the idea that their innovation must principally reside within their own four walls. Until they realize that the innovation landscape has changed and acknowledge that their current model is unsustainable, top-line growth will elude them”

You can download the connect + develop brochure here

Paul Marsden @ 2:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Tide to Go - P&G’s new CDI initiative

Posted on Friday 10 March 2006

P&G’s consumer-driven innovation (CDI), Tide To Go has just won a consumer award.

Tide to Go is a portable stain removal pen designed specifically to remove many fresh food and drinks stains instantly.

Julie Woffington, Tide Brand Manager, “Tide to Go is the result of Tide’s focus on consumer driven innovation. Our research clearly indicated an unmet need for a portable stain solution that is both effective and convenient for consumers”.

Interestingly, this kind of consumer-driven innovation is less about consumers coming up for a solution to a problem themselves and getting a manufacturer to make it, but more about dialogue between consumers and manufacturers, where the manufacturer listens to consumer problems, and produces a solution to the problem.

Sounds like text book marketing to me (solving people’s problems at a profit).

But in the real world, where the term ‘marketing’ has been so trivialised to mean advertising, and marketers are just the guys who do the ‘brochures’, perhaps a new word is needed for real marketing.

CDI is the word P&G seem to have chosen. Is it about consumer empowerment, you bet; ‘we make, you buy’ becomes ‘we listen, we make, you buy’

Paul Marsden @ 1:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
More opportunities for consumers to create ads: and Mastercard

Posted on Friday 10 March 2006

Brands’ inviting consumers to develop ads keeps spreading. Mastercard has made two commercials and is inviting anyone to contribute the lines that are needed to turn it into a proper “Priceless” commercial. Interestingly, the Open Source approach is rather limited here – people aren’t asked to create a complete commercial, but only to contribute the copy to the ads.

MasterCard Priceless

And Current.TV, the Al Gore-backed Open Source TV Channel, is running a project dubbed “V-CAM” – viewer-created ad messages. The current client seems to be Sony, and viewers are invited to contribute ideas and creative in several categories. - V-CAM

A short film on the page explains the stakes – if an ad film gets chosen to play on, the creator receives $ 1,000. If Sony wants to use it beyond that, it can go up to amounts ranging from $ 5,000 to 10,000. The pages also provides tips on how to make a good commercial, and a survival guide for making films.

Thanks to Stéphane for the tip.

Martin Oetting @ 12:29 pm
Filed under: Letting Consumers Call the Shots on Marketing (B2C)
Austrian Taste Design Competition: Trinkhanf

Posted on Saturday 4 March 2006

Another venture is tapping into the open source creativity pool: Austrian-based entrepreneur Christian Frenkenberger, in collaboration with a university in Vienna, has launched the Trinkhenf Challenge (Trinkhenf translates as something like Hemp Drink).


The public is invited to purchase the product – which is based on biologically cultivated henf seed and water – and to experiment with it, by adding whatever natural ingredients they want to choose, to create their own special flavour. The winning mixture will be chosen on the first of May 2006, and it will then be launched on the market. An interesting detail – the creator of the winning mix will reap a part of the profit: one cent per drink sold goes to its creator.

Right now, the drink is available in a its pure form without flavouring, and as a coffee mix. This spring, they are launching two additional flavours, Mango/Ginger and Chocolate. All the details about the competition can be found at the Hanfmilch-Website (sorry, German only).

Martin Oetting @ 8:19 pm
Filed under: Letting Consumers Call the Shots on Innovation (B2C)