Our Interview With François Petavy, CEO of eYeka

Written by Ramon Nuez

Jun 28, 2012

eYeka leverages the world’s creativity to enable organizations and people to create a better future together


And eYeka has worked with companies such as P&G, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Danone, Hyundai and Microsoft —  to generate new ideas. Presently, eYeka has a community of 200,000 consumers in 94 countries that it leverages to unlock innovation opportunities. And leading this company is  François Petavy . Let’s see what he as to say.

RBN: You have been in the marketing space for over 13 years — how has the convergence of technology, marketing and content matured to fuel co-creation?

FP: The rise of the Internet has brought significant challenges to marketers as it has shifted the balance of power between brands and consumers. Nowadays, should your product under-deliver or should you provide an unsatisfying experience to your consumers, the word will spread out in a matter of hours on social media channels. Consumers now expect brands to behave consistently across channels, which forces brands to focus on providing a seamless experience.

On the other end, democratization of creative technologies (digital cameras, movie, image, music editing tools etc.) combined with the rise of the internet has led to an era of “mass creativity”. Today, everyone can express himself creatively, without requiring years of apprenticeship or mastering complex technology, and everyone can share their creations with the world.

At eYeka, we believe that brands need to embrace this change and that what can look like a threat is actually a tremendous opportunity. By opening up to the world’s creativity, brands can collaborate with consumers and actually design and market more satisfying experiences for them – to the benefit of all.

RBN: You explain that there is a problem with innovation. And CEO’s are realizing the difficulty in executing ideas due to the lack of implementing the right ones, quickly. How does co-creation help that process?

FP: Put it simply, co-creation is about “doing things with people, not for people”.

By embedding consumers into the innovation and marketing process, co-creation minimizes the risk of failure, as creative ideas are consumer-rooted from the start. This saves you a tedious sequential process involving multiple parties to gather insights, create new concepts, test them to get more insights an so-on. Client feedback about eYeka is that we deliver more ideas – with stronger relevance – in 3 weeks than a 3 to 6 months traditional process.

The ROI of co-creation is twofold: it gives you a better chance to deliver and market the right innovations, and it enables you to move faster than your competitors.

RBN: co-Creation is being used by companies such as Unilever but how do decision makers ensure that they are getting the best possible value from the crowd?

FP: The key question to address is: what is the problem you are trying to solve for, and who is the qualified crowd for it?

Brands should not expect consumers to deliver the work they typically get from experts and professionals. When leveraging co-creation, brands actually gather an extremely valuable information: what is the experience consumers are receiving from them, and can they improve it? The eYeka community helps brands envision these consumer experiences (new product experience, brand positioning, product packaging, in-store experience, creative development) by designing them visually. It’s then the role of the brand and of its suppliers to provide the required expertise and technologies to actually deliver a better experience to consumers.

Co-creation has to be designed as a collaborative effort where every party involved – brands, experts and consumers – brings its own skillset and expertise.

RBN: co-Creation seems to be the secret-sauce that flips the traditional innovation model. But how do you get decisions makers to commit — to the non-traditional co-creation innovation model?

FP: Accelerating innovation and keeping in touch with ever-evolving consumers is at the top of the agenda of all major corporations. So being able to develop and market products faster than competitors – while minimizing the risk of pushing the wrong idea to market – is a proposition worth thinking of for any company in today’s economic climate.

We see co-creation most efficiently deployed when you combine a strong mandate from the CEO or the CMO with a pragmatic adoption by marketing and innovation practitioners. Our clients consistently tell us that running a co-creation project is a transformational experience that radically changes their approach to marketing and their relationship with consumers.

We invite you to read our white paper on online co-creation which provides useful insights gathered from more than 400 projects on how to drive such a corporate transformation and make the best use of co-creation (see http://www.eyeka.net/resources for download).

Call To Action

What are you thoughts on co-creation? Do you see a future where the ROI of co-creation helps you “move faster than you competitor?”

About Author

About Author

Ramon Nuez

Ramon Nuez is a founder, fine arts photographer, digital artist, writer and wannabe harmonica player.

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