Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Co-Creation B2C Glassmaking

There is a new idea on our playground: "co-creation". This is a when products made by companies can be influenced directly by the end user or customer,"resulting in more enjoyable and useful items". So they say it's a UCD. We at Nourot Glass Studio think this is a way cooler name.
Sound a little weird? Un-artistic? Think again of the performance artists who get audience interaction. Why not the hot glass artisan?
Today we had our first real inquiry for such an item: a paperweight that refers to a work of literature:

"Thanks for speaking with me earlier. What I am looking to have made is a paperweight. It plays a big role in Orwell's 1984, and I'd like to have one made to match the description in the book. As I mentioned I did have another glassblower try, but he sent me a very large purple swirl type thing, which while lovely, is not what I am looking for. The unfortunate part is that I need it by Thursday October 1st, but am certainly willing to pay for the rush and expedited shipping. I have included below the description from the book as well as some photos of the type of thing it seems should be in the center, though the description seems to call it a cross between a rose and a sea anemone. I've never seen one made, though in searching online I've seen a good number of people looking for one, so I don't have too much of a specific idea in mind, though not purple. This is a gift with great sentimental meaning, and having received the other paperweight, I am running out of time and would be so enormously grateful if this is something you thought you could do."

Open sourcing the glass making is not the goal. Works of glass produced by the participants and Nourot studio artisans will meld the ideas of the dilatante with the skills of the designer craftsman. Micheal Nourot was skeptical at first: "I am not a teacher.", he said.
Now how exactly does "co-creation" work and how has it worked in business recently? Go look around the net and see this is a phenomenon that is growing daily.
It is important to note the success big companies are having with this market phenomenon. They're saying it closes the gap between consumer needs and product creation. The result is the ability for consumers to be more deeply involved in the product ideation and creation process than ever before. But why does co-creation matter? The following is excerpted from the Critical Mass site.

Why care about co-creation? There’s no shortage of ideas: co-creating provides a new avenue for consumers to share their ideas. It helps close the gap between consumer needs and product creation. Co-creation leaders: Johann Fueller and Eric Von Hippel, from the MIT Sloan School of Management, recently put out a report titled Costless Creation of Strong Brands by User Communities: Implications for Producer-Owned Brands. In their experiment 78.2% of respondents preferred a co-developed and co-branded product.

Nourot Glass Studio and the American craftman industry will probably have to take note of these facts sooner than later. What next: kits? A return to paint by the numbers ala John Nagey ? Panel designed commissions? Stay tuned for the news here soon.

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