Businesses need not to be afraid of the post-Covid consumer landscape. With co-creation, the answers you desperately need are simpler to find than you think…

Let’s not dwell on how difficult this year has been. Instead let’s look to the future. We’re hoping it will be better than ever.

The world is not the same as it once was. Customers’ needs and wants have changed beyond recognition.

How will that affect how you should communicate with them? What does it mean for your business? Knowing the answers may seem impossible right now.

Not with co-creation.

Because with co-creation there is no confusion or uncertainty, no reliance on wooly predictions or maybes. Instead, you get clarity and a clear path to achieving your goals.

During the Covid-lockdown and its aftermath, we worked with a number of clients to use co-creation to help navigate their brands through challenges they never expected to face. Let's take a look at two projects in detail from our clients Cotton Traders and Best Western Hotels – where working with SHARP and co-creation resulted in hugely successful outcomes, even in the chaos of the pandemic.


What is co-creation?

  • Co-creation is a proven, customer-centric methodology that boosts growth, ROI and profit with solutions that are totally unique and representative of your business.
  • Collaborate with your customers and stakeholders (virtually or face-to-face) to create ideas, formulate strategies, and develop propositions that answer the challenges you face.
  • Pioneered by SHARP over 10 years, each 2-hour workshop is expertly moderated to gain deep insight from participants working competitively in teams to shape cut-through solutions.
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How co-creation was used to re-invigorate Cotton Traders and achieve huge success during Covid-lockdown

Before Covid was even on our radar, Cotton Traders approached us to help them acquire a younger audience, without alienating its core customers.

SHARP used co-creation to find a new insight-driven proposition with a room of lively 55+ year olds to invigorate the brand: ‘The style of your life’. We then developed this into a brand solution to inject personality, versatility and style into everything – to attract the target younger audience.

Our answer was the ‘Style of your life’ #5waystowear campaign. Each execution would feature a must-have hero piece – e.g. the ‘Swishy skirt’ – that inspires stylish combinations and options to create five everyday outfits for a new generation.

But then Covid happened. Where brands and businesses around the country retreated back into survival mode, SHARP and Cotton Traders had a campaign to launch. And we were confident of the outcome because it came from co-creation – from the heart of the customer.

The co-created proposition was so strong that we were able to deliver incredible results through integrated TV, Press and Digital executions.

  • 22% unprompted awareness uplift. Increasing to 100% for a target segment
  • Dominating search rankings for ‘Swishy skirt’
  • Social reach 33% above target
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How co-creation was used to drive hotel bookings as Covid lockdown was lifted

The travel and leisure industry has been one of the worst affected sectors during the pandemic. For Best Western hotels, boosting sales just as lockdown ended was not only a priority, but also one of the greatest challenges the brand had faced.

What do customers want? How do we talk to them tonally? What are their needs? Concerns? How should we act?

With a co-creation session, we were able to gather deep insights into how best answer the questions that no predictions could ever could. We learned that the nation was looking for a big dose of positivity and energy after months of uncertainty. Our solution was a campaign that would delight and surprise – to bring to life Best Western’s co-created brand offering of surprising stays.

We designed and created a suite of social assets, including videos and statics, that galvanised the offer with infectious vivacity. Powerful messaging with a FOMO mechanic drove each video, with a visual identity that punched through customers’ feeds and grabbed attention.

The results were incredible. The campaign accounted for 33% of total revenue for the period - over 4500 rooms booked. It was also the best ever Facebook campaign performance for the brand to date.

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Co-creation can help you solve any business challenge

The two case studies above show the power of co-creation. During the most challenging business period of a generation, this collaborative customer-led methodology helped SHARP and our clients achieve outstanding results.

With co-creation, there is every reason to be confident that you can turn your business goals, whatever the economic climate, into reality.

Picture of Alex Allston, Senior Copywriter at The Sharp Agency

Alex Allston

Senior Copywriter