Customer co-creation, in short, is open innovation with customers. It is a product (or service) development approach where users and customers are actively involved and take part in the design of a new offering. More specifically, we define customer co-creation as an active, creative, and social process, based on collaboration between producers (retailers) and customers (users). The idea of co-creation is to actively involve customers in the design or development of future offerings, often with the help of tools that are provided by the firm.
Co-creation activities are performed in an act of company-to-customer interaction which is facilitated by the company. The manufacturer is either empowering its customers to design a solution by themselves or is implementing methodologies to efficiently transfer an innovative solution from the customer into the company domain. Examples for methods include ideation contests, lead user workshops, consumer opinion platforms, toolkits for user innovation, or communities for social product development.