Creativity and co-development of product and service offers

Objectives of creativity and co-development

The objective of creativity is to bring to light new avenues to explore in order to open up new product, service or program development opportunities. Coming up with new ideas is a demanding exercise that requires both imagination and discipline. Collaborative creation with your target audience is one of the most effective ways of keeping in touch and in tune with consumers' reality.

Setting up creativity and co-development processes

Despite the fact that the exploitation of fertile imagination would apparently suggest that such an exercise would be somewhat devoid of structure, in reality a disciplined approach to creativity is required in order for companies to reap all of the benefits. A creative workshop generally requires several key stages to be completed:
1/ Good preparation, in order to clearly establish the stakes and set out the initial guidelines of what we want to achieve. This phase must also specify the directions that we do not want to take and which cannot be called into question once a precise and well-defined strategic framework has been laid down. In other words, this phase sets out the perimeter within which creativity can enjoy unbridled expression. This preparatory phase must also provide elements to clarify market awareness, in particular by producing a written record of the key insights that have been found. From these reality-based insights, the preparatory phase must make it possible to gather together a range of stimuli that will hopefully provide the participants with inspiration during their creative tasks. These seed-sowing elements, along with the different consumer persona descriptions must draw inspiration from insights that are totally realistic but that must also not be too "literal", allowing a certain degree of artistic leeway for creative expression.

2/ The co-creative workshop will involve consumers who correspond to the target profile but may also include others who are selected for their creative abilities. Drawing on the seed-sowing elements that are put before them, and through a series of thought-provoking exercises, the participants are encouraged to come up with new solutions (products, services, etc.). They will often be invited to get totally into character by playing the roles of the consumer personae described. Moderation of this kind of workshop must allow for the expression of a certain degree of creative divergence, but at the same time, it is important to keep the participants "on track". At the end of a workshop of this kind, different creative avenues must have been formalized by the participants (in the form of e.g. storyboards, prototypes, diagrams, concepts, etc...).

3/ The convergence phase must ensure a link back to the initial, rational, business-focused objectives and provide opportunities to select and re-angle certain creative ideas so as to ensure that they are fully in line with the company's strategic aims. It is also at this stage that the finishing touches are made to the value propositions.
Once the creative workshop has been completed, it is often a good idea to set up a design sprint, an "ordeal by fire" during which the consumers will be invited to appraise the different innovation proposals (prototypes, value propositions etc...).