Take your Food Brand Further… Using Co-Creation to Engage Customers

co-creation with customers and food brands

What makes a food brand truly successful? Customers. But, what is the best way to engage them and deliver a successful customer experience that converts into repeated custom? Co-creation. Here, we explore what co-creation means, and how you can use it in your content strategy to support your food brand.

Customer Involvement

Co-creation is all about involving customers. After all, if you know what customers want, they’ll buy what you have to offer. It’s no secret that over 50% of products fail when they’re launched, but perhaps this could have been reduced had they carried out thorough market research. By understanding and addressing the specific needs of your customers in your strategy, you’ll stand out above your competitors.

Food for Thought

As a food business, you’re already halfway there. What could be more tempting than food? By involving consumers to participate in what you produce, you’ll not only gain insight into what they want, you’ll give those consumers a sense of empowerment. They’ll feel valued and will use their voice to tell you what they want, so it’s important you listen.

Using co-creation is easy. Simply work on gaining customer feedback when it comes to products you’re thinking of launching. Work with your customers to get new ideas flowing on your products as well as your services.

My Starbucks Idea

Take inspiration from Starbucks, who, with their ‘My Starbucks Idea’ gave customers a voice on what they wanted, as well as what the company is doing. Creating this online community was a brilliant move; customers felt like insiders and, with over 300 implemented innovations and an astonishing 150,000 ideas from customers (including free wifi and the introduction of ‘skinny’ drinks) Starbucks showed the rest of the food and drink industry just how well co-creation works. Even though the community aspect was phased out in 2017 after nine successful years, anyone can still submit an idea to Starbucks.

Walkers Crisps

Walkers crisps… they’re almost an institution, aren’t they? Dominating the British crisp market with their 58% share, as well as having a further 11 million people eating Walkers all over the globe, they’re certainly successful. And yet, between 2002 and 2005, sales of their new flavours fell from £18.5m right down to £8.7m, which indicated clear problems… and the only way to put it right? Ask the public!

Walkers devised their ‘Do us a flavour’ campaign, which invited consumers to come up with, and submit ideas for new flavours. Six finalists were chosen from this shortlist, the nation asked to choose their winner (more co-creation!) and the winning flavour manufactured and launched for a time, creating lots of great publicity and a fun buzz about trying new flavours.

In fact, the ‘Do us a flavour’ campaign ensured that Walkers achieved their highest market value for three years, as well as outperforming category year-on-year sales growth by 68%!

Co-creation for Businesses, Large or Small

Here at Eat Marketing, we take the concept of co-creation very seriously as we’ve seen how it yields results for brands and businesses, however large or small. A great example of how we help clients use co-creation as an overall strategy for their food business is Zan Fish, a hugely popular food brand which has several fish and chip shops dotted around Derby.

co-creation at Zan Fish Derby

Zan Fish are rightly proud of their strong customer base, and their reputation as a great fish and chips food chain that cooks freshly prepared food. Having understood the importance of co-creation, Zan Fish set a plan in motion, encouraging customers to suggest creative flavours they would like to see at a brand new shop.

This co-creative plan of action is currently happening through a series of social posts and the feedback so far is great! It gives the team a proper insight into what their customers are after in terms of creating new, flavoursome dishes and now, Zan Fish are in the process of deciding what flavours to go for, as well as well as building up customer excitement as they feel invested in the new dishes.

Three Key Factors

As a food business, you can also use co-creation to get the right results. Everything from the process of creating new menus and recipes, to designing a new food brand, can be applied.

Three key factors to co-creation are understanding the benefits to customers, being transparent about the process and incorporating co-creation into your overall content strategy to inspire trust, interest and rewards for both your consumers and your food business.

Want to know more? Contact us today and see how co-creation can take your food business further.

Project in mind? Questions to ask?
Talk to Maria on +44 (0)845 835 4661.

Eat Marketing