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Customer community and co-creation: a case study

Rowley, Jennifer and Kupiec-Teahan, Beata and Leeming, Edward (2007) Customer community and co-creation: a case study. ISSN 0263-4503

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Abstract

Abstract: 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.

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