Customer co-creation is increasingly better, cheaper and faster than traditional internal innovation efforts in three significant ways:
Firstly you can gauge interest from actual end customers before you invest in the risky and expensive bit of launching a new product or service. You are not overly influenced by employees or intermediaries who may have other motivations or incentives, above and beyond your customers specific innovation needs.
Secondly, through your customers having an honest dialogue with each other, and you really listening to what they are saying, you are much more likely to find out their actual needs rather than customers saying what they think you might want to here in a more artificial environment such a focus group setting.
Lastly, by being involved in the development of a product (even if only commenting or voting on a concept) we have seen again and again that customers are much more likely to buy it and talk about it to their friends, therefore de-risking the innovation and marketing process further.
In summary, customer co-creation at it’s best is better out than in.