Interactivity is often confused with co-creation. In most industries, co-creation is rather prized because of the perceived value of the outcome or the product. Companies cutting across industries have realized the benefit of multiple parties coming together to jointly or collectively create a product that is more valuable than what any one department would have been capable of.
Co-creation is not a very new concept, nor is interactivity.
For decades now companies have used market research to assist product development. There are instances when customers have played an active role in determining the policies of a company. From sales teams to finance departments, opinions of every crucial wing of a company matter when one has to develop a bestselling product or service.
Co-creation has many phases. The first phase is interactivity. Hence, co-creation requires interactivity. The former is heavily depended on the latter but interactivity doesn’t automatically lead to co-creation. Interactivity can exist in market research, generating customer feedback, running experiments or sample testing and various other operations. Without interactivity, there can be no co-creation. Without co-creation, interactivity has its own place and significance. It can be consequential for a company.
Co-creation is much broader than interactivity because simple exchanges of viewpoints or dialogues don’t necessarily lead to developing anything worthwhile. It is quite possible that two parties, let us consider an event management company and the client hiring them to plan an event, would discuss everything at length and yet the client wouldn’t have anything to offer that the event planner can use to set up the event. Interactivity may be consultation or just a dialogue wherein the client lays out everything that is needed and lets the event planner decide how all the needs must be catered to.
Co-creation has many other phases in addition to interactivity. There’s two-way access to data and ideas. After the exchange of ideas, both or more parties work on their own niches and try to contribute something tangible or worthwhile to the collective idea. When all parties chip in with their contribution, not just reviews or feedback but something constructive or any component that other parties are not working on, then we can call the endeavor a co-creation.
In simple words, interactivity is merely dialogue which may or may not lead to co-creation. In co-creation, there are at least two parties who can claim absolute credit of at least one component or several components of the outcome.