The big player in retail, Nike, announced that their NikeID co-creation platform brought in over $100 million in revenue for the fiscal year of 2009.
Those types of figures certainly prove that co-creation isn't merely a trend and that consumers are actually looking to be empowered to become their own designer. More dollars are being spent on customized products, especially with the growing Gen Y mentality where consumers are entitled to something uniquely made and individually tailored for their wants and needs.
Co-creation is winning for several reasons:
Design-it-yourself platforms are making it fun and easy to co-create product because of high usability and rich product visualization.
Co-creation companies are mostly e-commerce, and the flexibility of the web allows businesses to better iterate to provide a more engaging shopping experience as well as increase their sales funnel.
There is greater alignment in consumer demand and retailer supply because co-created products are on-demand and made-to-order, such that consumers get exactly what they want, and only what they want. No more, no less.
Co-creation resolves the inefficiencies of mass-production. This goes back to the alignment of consumer demand and retailer supply because the retailers spend more time actually working with consumers to fulfill demand rather than predicting what consumers may demand and then mass producing that.
As mobile continues to explode, co-creation will move with it. Apps, apps and more apps will arrive at the mobile scene so you can co-create your product on-the-run
Game mechanics will be infused into the co-creation process to make the whole shopping experience and sharing experience more exciting. To be honest, I hate game mechanics because many people do it very poorly. I would be excited to see any co-creation company successfully including game mechanics into their co-creation process though
More co-creation platforms will emerge and the functionality as well as the richness of the configurators and visualizations with dramatically improve. They might even make their way to Facebook pages as another engagement channel
Danny Wong is the co-founder of co-creation startup, Blank Label, which specializing in men's dress shirts and slim fit dress shirts that you design yourself.