Sunday, September 9, 2012

Use Ideas Designed by Users

Invite your target consumers to participate in the design of products they buy from you, the delivery of services, and the layout of environments in which they shop. The product or service will then be more likely to reflect the characteristics of the consumers. In addition, the invitation to coproduce prepares for the “endowment effect.” The endowment effect refers to people placing a higher value on objects they feel is their own than on equivalent objects that they do not. Participation in the design endows a sense of ownership.
     Research at University of British Columbia, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, and Erasmus University indicates that inviting users to submit design ideas won’t give the impression that the retailer lacks innovativeness, as might be feared. In fact, the invitations led overall to higher purchase intentions, a willingness to pay more for the product, and interest in making recommendations to other shoppers.
     Based on findings from that research and other studies, here are tactics for you getting the best from user-generated design:
  • Clearly state your objectives for the ideas you’ll choose. Specifications phrased like, “We want to package items we carry or could carry which together would be a great kit for families to take on hikes,” or, “We want to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to place special orders with us.” However, minimize the specifications on how the objective is to be accomplished. The fewer the constraints, the more likely you’ll get ideas with big payoffs. 
  • Encourage as many people as possible to participate. Success is more likely when there’s diversity. A twist, however: Success is also more likely when designs come from people who are familiar with your store and when people have made a noticeable effort to submit their ideas. Therefore, encourage participants to come to your store to get the materials for submission. 
  • Conduct the project as a contest. If your acceptance of ideas is ongoing, declare winners regularly. After a competition, even the multitudes who didn't win are likely to build a kinship with the business, feeling they’re part of a community. But if you reject all the ideas, members of your target markets—both those who submitted ideas and those who did not submit ideas—will be irritated at you. 
  • Business professionals have issued legal cautions about non-disclosure agreements and rights to subsequent use of the ideas. Attend to these. 
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Effect Endowment via Customer Coproduction 
Incorporate Crowdsourcing When Designing

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