Collaborative marketing or co-marketing approach consists in soliciting the collaboration of consumers to imagine, produce and develop products that perfectly match their expectations. This collaboration can also extend to brand communication.
Collaborative marketing is most often based on the establishment of a one-off or permanent interaction platform between consumers and one or more functions of the company.
Stefan Thomke and Eric Von Hippel talk about customers becoming innovators, recommending that this consumer be involved as early as possible in the development process, in order to be able to design, develop and market goods and services that will run less risk of failure because better suited to the needs and wishes of those for whom they are intended.
Product modifications are no longer considered a posteriori during tests, but as their need is detected, thanks to the permanent interactions between marketing, production and consumers.
Electronic and digital means of communication facilitate the interfacing and interconnection of the company and / or the brand with its increasingly connected customers and / or consumers. The rise of digital social networks and their ability to unite consumer communities is now forcing brands to collaborate more with their consumers at the risk of exposing themselves to boomerang effects.
The textile brand GAP, which had nevertheless carried out the conventional ad hoc marketing studies to define the evolution of its visual identity in 2010, involuntarily neglected this collaboration and suffered the powerful boomerang effects. The launch of its new logo in the United States sparked such a protest movement, relayed and amplified by social networks on the Web, that the brand had to back down after only a few days, abandoning its new logo (2) and reintroducing the previous (1).
Bernard Cova and Véronique Cova observe that: “Collaborative marketing puts the new consumer on an equal footing with the company: both are resource integrators capable of ‘agency’ in consumption and in the market. It is interesting to note here that this approach reinforces the need for a dialogue between the two types of actors, an unprecedented dialogue because it is the consumer who chooses with whom he wants to dialogue and not the other way around. “