What is a co-creation workshops in China and how does Daxue Consulting use this methodology?
A co-creation workshops in China consists of interactive sessions in which a small group of consumers explore a problem and generate solutions together, sharing out-of-box ideas and taking into account their different approaches, needs, and points of view. This type of workshop allows users to take an active part in the creative development of a product or a service, by interacting directly with design and research teams. Consumers are not treated as interview subjects but as designers. The ultimate goal is getting insights about what users want, to provide them with better experiences.
Daxue Consulting uses co-creation workshops in China as part of its projects, mainly for those related to innovation and new solutions. Recently, Daxue’s team organized co-creation workshops for clients in sectors such as telecommunication, mobile application, connected cars, Internet of Things (IoT) but also sportswear and food industry. Global projects also required co-creation workshops to collect insights that are valuable outside China, since it is relevant to perform research in the Chinese market to find out emerging trends in various sectors. “We leverage this methodology in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and in all first to third-tiers cities in China. We aim to provide forward-thinking ideas and identify what are the innovations that will be readily accepted by the market,” explains Thibaud Andre, project leader at Daxue Consulting.
Daxue’s team uses two different types of co-creation workshop. The first is the co-creative workshop with Chinese consumers, which allows to identify new trends and to connect directly users’ needs and potential solutions. It is generally conducted at the stage of value proposition decision, to define and validate what better responds consumers’ expectations. Workshop with Chinese consumers is also used to design marketing mix or in the process of brand naming. The other type of co-creation workshop involves market insiders and local professionals and is used earlier in the research design. The goal is to find out and assess the opportunities related to the evolution of the industry in question. Market insiders gathered during these workshops are experts in specific fields that cover the entire scope of solutions to integrate. “For example, if we work on automated cars, we will gather professionals in the field of in-car entertainment, multimedia fitting solutions, IoT, and data management and processing,” says Andre.
How does Daxue’s team organize co-creation workshops in China in concrete terms?
A co-creation workshops in China usually involves three senior managers at Daxue Consulting. It requires three to four weeks of preparation and our team takes over the entire process. It includes the design of the workshops in China guidelines, the recruitment of participants, the choice of the facilities until the final analysis and executive summary. A co-creation workshop conducted by Daxue takes place in a specific venue with an observation area for the client.
According to the specificities of the project, a workshop session involves six to eight carefully recruited participants. The first step for our team is to define recruitment criteria with the client. According to these criteria, a screening questionnaire is designed to help to identify potential participants.
For workshops with Chinese consumers, “at least 75% of the participants are specifically recruited for each project” according to Andre. Daxue Consulting uses its extensive consumer panel in China and systematically completes with new recruitment through social media discussions and on-site recruitment.
For workshops with market insiders in China, they are targeted
- In Daxue’s database of professionals
- Among Alumni of the top Chinese universities partnering with Daxue Consulting: Jiao Tong University (in Chinese 交通大学), Peking University (北京大学) and Tsinghua University (清华大学)
- Through integration of professional networks and discussions in the topic of interest
- In online professional social networks
- Through participation in events aiming at gathering professional of a sector
- Through cold calls
Daxue Consulting has in-house well-trained facilitators who conduct co-creation workshops in China, that usually last two to three hours. We focus on playful methods, using games, storyboards, modeling, cognitive and context mapping, paper prototyping and sketching to enhance a forward-thinking state of mind.
Combining with other research methodologies is required
Co-creation workshops with Chinese consumers allow to listen and observe them directly and identify touch points in their journey, but this method poses a risk of over-interpretation according to Andre. That is why after a workshop, Daxue’s team will validate its findings and the concepts identified during the session.
We can either statistically confirm the results through quantitative research methods like a market survey to assess Chinese market acceptance of a concept or using qualitative methods to challenge the identified concepts such as focus groups in China, ethnographic research in China, and in-depth interviews in China.