75% of consumers today don’t trust advertising. Did you know that or suspect it?



Only 25% of your audience believes in what you say, or what your agency is putting out there on your behalf (Crodos, 2018).


So you can see why brands like IKEA, Heineken and BMW are turning to their consumers to transform their brands. And why LEGO have been doing it for years.


Co-creation is a proven, cost-effective way to tackle today’s marketing challenge head on and cut through with results like:

  • 4X increase in ROI
  • 33% faster growth
  • 19% increase in consumer spend

(Neilsen, Bulbshare)


Having pioneered our vital co-create methodology over 10 years ago, we know it works wonders and it couldn’t be more relevant today.


Co-create and collaborate for success

Today’s consumers don’t want to be sold to. They want to influence or at least have a say in the products they’re buying. 83% of millennials and Gen Z consumers say they’re more likely to buy from brands they can influence (State of Technology in Retail 2019). 66% of consumers want to be part of the product creation process – shouldn’t they be involved in the branding and ideas too?


Another interesting trend is that brands from all sectors are democratising innovation – from German FMCG giant Henkel, who developed an innovation ecosystem where venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, industry leaders and start-ups collaborate to solve some of the most pressing issues in business today, to Montezuma’s chocolate, whose Marketing Director believes that ‘innovation should be in everyone’s job description’.


It’s never too late to join the participant consumer economy…



The Danish toymaker diverted a 2004 financial crisis by developing a platform where customers can submit their own creations. LEGO Ideas enabled the brand to see products their consumers wanted and tap into their fresh thinking (anyone for a Central Perk Friends coffee shop set?).


Result: Co-creation is still helping to build LEGO’s success as one of the biggest brands on the planet.



lego friends


IKEA recently started tapping into crowd-sourced ideas to make everyday life better. Co-Create IKEA is their digital platform where products/innovations can be shaped by third-party designers, start-ups, and customers.


Result: Democratic design. Involving new audiences in the development of new products, helps IKEA to understand what’s REALLY important and create solutions that suit lives and homes around the world.




ikea image


Where next for beer? Heineken Innovators Brewhouse is currently seeking the best solutions related to sustainability and product design from their consumers. They believe that great ideas can come from anywhere. Result: the “easy star bottle”. This co-created design makes it simpler for older folks with limited dexterity to open a refreshing Heineken. Cheers Gran.


heineken image


With over a decade’s experience of running customer co-creates, we know the value consumers bring to the table. From the big idea, to brand development, to digital journeys and everything in between, every co-create workshop is unique, and designed to the specific task in hand. Take a look at our Benenden, HomeServe and NHS case studies to see the results.


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?



Jo Richards

Jo Richards

Senior Copywriter