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December 04, 2008



Hi, do you know of any companies that apply co-creation but actually reward their users?


Juliet Okafor

When I read this article about co-creation, it sort of spoke to my goal in lifestyle marketing. I believe people are willing to pay top dollar for an experience, service or product that they believe is a true extension of their self. So, when I pitch to a prospective clients I ask about their current status, but I often speak to what my services can help them become, not who they are now. It's not new, but it works. Luxury is a lifestyle choice. The beauty of a privileged lifestyle is the number of options available and the ability to choose the best one.

So, when I market a product or plan events I share with my venue clients that the party, the service and the offerings must fit their clientele like a glove. Guests cannot be afraid to be seen there, in fact, they have to feel as though they deserve to be there and having arrived it is something they would like to experience again and again.

In luxury brands, the idea of co-creation is the ability to choose from many. It is the choices made by each guest or each consumer of the luxury brand that truly reflects the idea of co-creation. However, your job does not end there, because the ability to choose must also be met with the highest level of service, a price that reflects the selected option and the ability to make their part appear effortless.

Co-Creation and Luxury are inseparable.

Sandesh Bhat

Great Post



Isn't the basic motive behind the luxury business model meant for those who wish to not think or do too much? Additionally, doesn't the luxury business model allow for a considerable amount of customization, which could in many ways be considered co-creation?

The margins associated with luxury goods allow for this experience to somewhat happen.

Let me know if I'm incorrect on my position.

Alycia Edmonds

I think that luxury brands are very often co created. In the case of luxury hotels in particular, patrons are able to request the exact type of servce they require and when they require it, in addition to this, the hotel is more likely to find out how they can add value to thier guests experiences. This type of co-creation is very different from the so called DIY co creation which may be more obvious in brands which encourage the consumer to create such as 'customising your own m&ms'. Consumers of luxury brands are generally paying extra so that they can request and aid in creating a more unique and indiviualised experience as opposed to a mainstream experience created for one bulk audience.


Just came across this. Thought you might find it interesting:

Matthew Healey

Welcome back to the blogosphere, Jennifer!

Obvious as it may sound, I think you need to start with a clear definition of "luxury". I sense that it's not just "pampering" or "built to last," but as Tom implies, "retelling unique stories." Think back to Maslow's pyramid (and your smartly updated version of it). The luxury brand should appeal to the very highest form of need, that of self-centeredness and self-actualization.

Following that, it would seem natural that every truly luxury brand requires some form of co-creation, almost by definition.

Recently, I saw an auction of a vintage Louis Vuitton luggage set. It had been custom built for the bride of a Maharaja, to her own specs, for her own particular travel needs. Ain't that co-creation?

There was a funny story in The New York Times a couple years ago about the nouveau riche of Nantucket. A woman came into an antique shop and saw a beautiful, expensive antique silver hand-mirror, engraved with an elaborate monogram. She declined to buy it, sniffing that it had "somebody else's initials." The shop owner mocked the woman as unappreciative of luxury, but I think the customer had a point: if it's not your monogram, it lacks a story of you, and becomes merely an expensive object, as opposed to a luxury item.


This is a really interesting question. In my perspective luxury and co-creation exist on kind of different dimensions. Co-creation is just a different way of saying "DIY," a.k.a "Do-It-Yourself," which is an inherently non-luxury concept. After all, a luxury experience is not particularly compatible with personal effort. That having been said, however, I think something like adventure travel is absolutely a luxury experience, even though it's much more rugged and unpampered than the standard idea of luxury. The point is that adventure travel fulfills a certain kind of fantasy, as much as the the standard luxury experience fulfills the fantasy of being pampered and catered to. There's services now that allow people to "rent" paparazzi, for an event for instance. A way to fulfill the fantasy of feeling like a celebrity. I think that's what co-creation in luxury is really about. Not so much about the DIY approach of putting personal effort into the creation of an experience, but rather about the fulfillment, or enactment, of fantasy.

Tom Asacker

Great to "hear" your voice again Jennifer. I recently had the opportunity to present to - and spend a few days listening to - close to 300 owners and GMs of some of the world's most well-known luxury hotel brands.

Given that perspective, the co-creation challenge and opportunity with their customers appears to be a cognitive one: "How do we listen deeply, empathize, and co-create an experience that our customers can then take with them and share with their family and friends?"

The value of the luxury hotel experience/brand lies in the customers' ability to own, and retell, unique stories about themselves.

peter spear

I did a little research in the luxury hotel segment and i was fascinated by three things: the distinct experiences as imagined by gender, the power of cultural notions of service embedded in brand, and the power of location.

i think the other side of the participation economy is the knowledge benefit - we learn by doing, interacting, and touching. providing unique participatory access to the culture of place may not be co-creation, per se, but it places the brand in an empowering and helpful role.

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