By creative agency Latimer, an SEUK member
Co-creation has become a buzzword, for good reason. With co-creation, your company can better reach your target audience and create products that have a greater impact. The world is more interactive now than in the past, and consumers are no longer content to be passive. Latimer Group has recently been recognised in The Guardian for co-creating films, marketing and branding, so we wanted to share our insights.
What is co-creation?
When your company has a specific audience in mind, co-creation doesn’t assume that your company knows what that audience wants or likes. Instead, your company works with people instead of working “at” them. Through focus groups and hands-on involvement, your message becomes clearer.
At Latimer, our audience is generally young people, so we work directly with them to create films and digital media campaigns from inception to completion. The results have been stronger than they would have been without their inputs, and our youth network appreciates the opportunities to build experience and professional portfolios.
Besides boosting quality, co-creation can also help your company cut costs. You won’t have to go back to the drawing board as much when your audience participates in the creative process.
Especially with branding, co-creation is key to unleashing market potential. Your company will be more in-tune with the consumers’ likes and dislikes, and less likely to waste money, time and resources on unproductive efforts. If your audience feels connected to your product or service, those people are more likely to recommend your company via word of mouth or social media.
Co-creation is essential in today’s market. Make it work for your company and feel the results.
For industry advice, news and networking opportunities, follow Latimer Group on LinkedIn.
Social Enterprise Exchange (28th November 2013)
Social Enterprise Exchange is a forum for students, academics and practitioners of social entrepreneurship to exchange ideas and best practices in social enterprise teaching and practice. The workshop will adopt a mix of presentations, panels and small group formats.
This workshop aims to provide the "know-how" that will:
Diffuse on a wider scale the salient work conducted by academics, students and practitioners.Create an enabling environment where academics and practitioners can challenge themselves to push the boundaries of social innovation for societal good;Add value to the entrepreneurship objectives of our stakeholders, and;Cluster participants into working groups of interest, tasked with the design or development of relevant social enterprise resources which will provide the leverage for social entrepreneurship on a larger scale.
Richard, Hazenberg, University of Northampton
Charles Oham, University of Greenwich
Christina Baby, Managing Director of First Fruit
Andrew Hardman, Director of Strategy and Business, Bromley Healthcare
Andrew Tilling, Founder, Preseli
The below list provides a summary of the support (both potential and current) that student social entrepreneurs can/should access whilst studying at a HEI. These headings were derived from the experiences of several academics and business support managers, as well as three social entrepreneurs who had received HEI support.
Action Point - how do we encourage a 'change of mindset'
Social Capital on offer:
Universities - expertise; research skills; student body - 'think tank'
SE's - people / partners - 'think tank'; positive stories about healthcare; an alternative to privatisation
Our working group was made up of emerging social entrepreneurs facing a variety of challenges to make their project happen.
Don Macdonald opened the session to introduce his theme regarding youth employment, the lack of it, that it was three times higher than adult unemployment and that there was no easy fix.
Charles then explained further his work around the various kinds of capital there are. His list, while not exhaustive, gives good food for thought.
Kinds of Capital
Social capital - who you know, how well, what they know and how well you can leverage this.
Environmental capital - buildings, land, materials
Cultural capital - the value to be found in shared cultural identity
Symbolic capital - the power of celebrity, story, icons or myth
Spiritual capital - faith and shared belief, and the resilience that comes from a faith led goal
Human capital - the skills of those in an organisation or group, perhaps untapped (how many well educated individuals retrain when arriving in a new country in order to find work)
Economic capital - financial resources
Andrew Tilling then led the group using the Storm Process (stormprocess.com) to see if we could find any solutions to the youth unemployment issue, while considering the various capitals available. Andrew had introduced the storm process in his talk earlier in the day as a tool kit for increasing the capacity of students as social entrepreneurs, as demonstrated in a number of university programs run by Preseli Partnerships around the country.
Storm stands for Situation, Target, Obstacles, Reframe and Momentum.
Dealing with seemingly unsolvable challenges can prove daunting. Andrew highlighted the value of clarifying where you are and where you want to ideally get to before attempting to come up with ways of moving forward. (Situation and Target)
One way to analyse your current situation is to consider what capital is available not just for you, but for any stakeholders who could be influenced or affected by your project.
Having identified a range of stakeholders, each member of the group chose one to focus on and considered their resources in terms of the kinds of capital listed above.
This revealed an abundance of accessible resources and some interesting insights, for instance:
NHS has many redundant rooms which could be made use of
Youth workers have essential social capital in understanding the specific needs of the young people they work with, which can be lost with cuts
Young people have strong social capital themselves, in that they are so well connected with each other, however in the eyes of the general public, their social capital may be in deficit given reputation for being trouble makers etc.
Nobody seems to have any money
We then considered where we want to get to, an ideal scenario. We considered what would each stakeholder want to see happen as a result of our work.
Effective use of shared capital, ensuring stakeholders get benefit, can be a powerful way to gain momentum on a project.
We added a stakeholder here, in terms of the government, banks and big business. The people with the money. Andrew noted that someone who is responsible for ensuring profitability of a company is duty bound to invest in projects that can increase its profitability.
Therefore, if we can prove that our project can increase the various kinds capital of our investors, we are more likely to persuade them to support our project.
The exercise demonstrated that there are many ideas of how to address the problem of youth unemployment, and indeed other causes, and almost as many solutions as their are definable social problems, all worthy.
They all have their obstacles, but the most significant seems to be that of securing economic capital.
Reframe for Opportunites
One resource we could connect with to address this challenge could be within our university network.
How can you utilise a university's human and intellectual capital to demonstrate that essential potential return on investment for your stakeholders providing the economic capital? Can you enlist the university to help you prove they get bang for their buck?
We often think we can get no further without money, but money for what? Rather than paying for resources, is their any other way to engage other stakeholders to invest their resources by giving them a different kind of return?
If NHS bodies are sitting on vast reserves of unused space, using that space effectively, for a peppercorn rent, on projects that improve the health and vitality of the community, can help reduce costs and improve public relations for the NHS.
One way to do this would be to use it to improve the sexual health of young people for instance. If that's achievable as part of your project to engage young people in activities to improve their employability, you may have just significantly reduced the cost of delivery.
The group departed with a model to address their own and their stakeholders capital resources, and to explore ways to leverage this more effectively to achieve their social aims.