Crowdsourcing, Open Innovation, Co-creation

What is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a new idea or improving a product you like? Would it be a big deal to create a project or collaborate with companies like Heineken? Do you think that open innovation, crowdsourcing, and co-creation are buzzwords? 

Have you ever been in a situation where you are eating a burger, but then you think it would be much better if only you could add an extra topping or sauce? You probably asked for it but the answer was no. What if it was possible? Then your burger would have a special personal touch that would make you enjoy it much more. 

What if you could do the same for a company? Would you be happy to build your product or to collaborate with them to create new ideas?

In this blog, you will read how open innovation, crowdsourcing, and co-creation can make companies like Heineken create amazing things. 


"Anish Kapoor, British sculptor specializing in installation art and conceptual art."
“Anish Kapoor, British sculptor specializing in installation art and conceptual art.” Source: Ben Oakley

Open Innovation

When a company wants to create a new idea, the traditional process of innovation is normally made by the R&D departments. They come with new ideas to convert them into new products or services. 

Open innovation is when a company works on an innovative idea but not in a traditional process. Instead, companies allow external knowledge to play an equal role in internal innovation and knowledge. This is the phase where you, as a customer, build the product you want for them. 

Open innovation benefits companies to get extra knowledge or opportunities. Because of this, they innovate on what their customers really want to promote themselves and grow. 


Crowdsourcing allows engagement with people who have the same practices and interests as you. It offers benefits, such as problem-solving skills or help from anyone and for anything you want. Can you think about an example? Have you asked before for a recommendation or help on something you need on Facebook? If the answer is yes, then you are being part of crowdsourcing.

Companies believe that sharing their experiences and best practices, help others to learn to collaborate and innovate better. This offers them access to better knowledge and capable partners.

If you want to learn more about crowdsourcing read our blog “The power of crowdsourcing“.


Since 2000, the concept of co-creation has been around. It is about creating value for the vendor and consumer. Christine Crandell, Forbes writer, defines co-creation as “The purposeful action of partnering with strategic customers, partners or employees to ideate, problem-solve, improve performance, or create a new product, service or business.”

Turns out that co-creation it’s a pretty fun project to do! For example, on social media, musicians or influencers ask suggestions regarding album titles. Another example is when football clubs ask for feedback on their rebranding efforts.

Are you happy to share your thoughts? Do you do often follow discussions? 

Heineken Open Design Explorations Edition 1: The Club

Heineken is a company that recognizes the value of customer collaboration. In 2012, the brand invited a group of customers to participate in the “The Club project”. This project is one of the most successful examples of a co-creation campaign.

With this initiative, Heineken chose 19 designers from a diverse range of backgrounds who were tasked to develop a new and innovative club concept. They created an online hub to share ideas with thousands of Heineken fans.

The result was the Heineken Concept Club. It was unveiled during the Milan Design Week in 2012. Thousands of Design Week attendees visited the installation to interact with the crowdsourced layout. The event attracted a lot of industry and media attention.

This example showcases how a co-creation idea can establish interactions between customers and the media. Brands become even more worldwide attractive and save tons of money.

Do you still believe open innovation and crowdsourcing are buzzwords or a big deal? 


When external people interact and work together with internal people, the results are impressive. Both parties create amazing things, while buzzwords are made to impress. If a buzzword is fresh and popular it will be powerful!

Normally, they are used by many people in a variety of situations. For example, “Think outside the box”. How many times did you hear this powerful phrase?

think outside the box


Open innovation, crowdsourcing, and co-creation have a big deal for startups, small businesses, and big companies. 

We challenge you to pay attention and identify more crowdsourcing and co-creating campaigns as well as other popular buzzwords. And don’t forget to share them with us! You can share your ideas below! 

Do you want to read more about how to make your solution successful? Subscribe to our WhatsApp newsletter, you will receive an app with every new blog.



Share this article

Read more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *