If you’re not familiar with co-creation, this collaborative way of thinking has the power to transform brands, businesses, even Brexit, maybe. Basically, you get a big bunch of your target audience – your customers, colleagues or stakeholders – around the table, set them a business challenge and get them to solve it. It works wonders with colleagues and stakeholders too. Whoever you’re aiming your product, service, idea or campaign at.

Co-creation has been used to great success by brands like Lego, Heineken, Ikea and BMW for years. And by SHARP for over a decade – since we pioneered co-creation as way of generating ideas for brands.

And no matter what comes out of a co-create project, the ideas are always relevant and always resonate; because they come directly from the people you’re aiming to influence. It’s proven, and in the right hands, foolproof. 

So, what exactly could a co-create be used for? What sort of business challenges can it help with? To give you a better idea of how and why it works, here's a few examples:

Product proposition

Example: Heineken
Are you launching a new product or service to the market? Unsure about how to position this to your customers, or what they are truly looking for? Then ask them directly!

Heineken did just that to create a pop up nightclub. The brand wanted a vibe that would truly resonate and reflect customers tastes – so set 120 nightclub goers loose on the concept and worked with crowdsourced designers (who submitted entries by social media). The result? A pop up club concept that travelled the world, gained 4m online views and produced a 40% sales increase for Heineken.


Brand development

Example: HomeServe

HomeServe is one of the world’s biggest brands in home assistance, operating across five countries with 8m customers. Problem was, each of its territories had their own unique identities.

HomeServe needed a rebrand to build prominence under a single, cohesive global brand. We travelled across the world to each territory and held a series of co-create workshops with employees and customers to develop a new global brand proposition.

From this, we discovered one core truth that unified HomeServe across the world – wherever you go, they are local experts at the ready. A confident, modern and ubiquitous brand identity was then crafted. From the logo to the vans, everything was redesigned to kick-start a bold new chapter for HomeServe. And this repositioning then led to a UK launch campaign that delivered 16% uplift in unprompted awareness. (Read more)


Campaign development

Example: Benenden Health

Benenden’s healthcare product is discretionary – which makes it a complex proposition to communicate – a challenge SHARP was approached to solve.

How do you sell healthcare cover that approves claims on a complex needs basis?

The Eureka! moment came during a Co-Create session with Benenden members, when one insight was transformed into a breakthrough strategy – “Helps you when you need it most, and others when you don’t”. For just £8.19 a month.

The power of knowing every penny goes into a pot that helps fellow community members until you need it hit home. Real members were used to bring this core idea to life for the DRTV advert and across all brand comms to authenticate such a great value healthcare product and instil confidence in new recruits.

It was an approach that resonated – the campaign exceeded all targets with a 42% DRTV sales uplift, giving it a top bill of health.


Business transformation

Example: DHL

DHL collaborated with customers to rethink its supply chain – building innovation centres in Singapore and Germany where customer groups could collaborate with DHL employees to work directly on operational improvements. Drone delivery and robotics applications are just two of the innovations that came out of this co-creation – and as a result service development has become ‘more efficient, innovative and successful’.


Co-creation is in our blood and we love showing brands and businesses how uniquely transformative it is. So much so, we are taking our methodology on the road with a series of knowledge sharing seminars – here’s what happened at our first one.

If you’d like to register your interest to hear about upcoming BREAKFAST SERIAL events, simply email vickie@thesharpagency.co.uk


 Where could a Co-Create by SHARP take your brand?

Vickie Button

Vickie Button

Strategy & New Business Manager