Real life examples of co-creation

Lego Ideas

LEGO’s online community offers a platform for passionate fans and creators to submit, vote, and provide feedback on ideas for new LEGO kits. Projects that gather more than 10,000 votes will be reviewed by senior management to assess their viability for production. By utilizing the voting process, LEGO is able to gauge customer interest and save resources typically used for market research. If a project is approved for production, the creator will receive 1% of the net sales and be credited as the creator on all packaging and marketing materials. This is a prime example of Open Innovation and Community Co-creation, where consumers actively participate in the development process from ideation to completion.


DHL, the global leader in logistics, host Customer Innovation Workshops where customers collaborate with DHL employees to generate new concepts. These workshops have resulted in successful ideas such as the Parcelcopter, a drone delivery solution for difficult terrain and weather conditions, and Smart Glasses developed with customer Ricoh, which improved warehouse efficiency by 25%.

As of early 2017, DHL had held over 6,000 customer co-creation sessions. In 2018, the company further expanded its network of innovation centers in North America with the opening of its third center in Chicago. DHL’s co-creation efforts have led to a significant increase in customer satisfaction, resulting in higher client retention. The use of crowdsourced technologies has also contributed to the company’s delivery time reductions. According to Forbes, DHL’s co-creation approach resulted in a significant increase in customer satisfaction, with scores rising over 80%.


To leverage consumer insights for innovation, Unilever has an Open Innovation platform that invites individuals to submit ideas through a public webpage. The platform presents specific challenges and themes, such as intelligent product packaging and nutritious food, and offers commercial contracts and recognition to successful contributors.

In addition, Unilever fosters innovation from within through its Flex Experiences platform, a workplace software that enables its 65,000 global employees to share their skills and experiences with other teams and countries. The internal talent marketplace leverages AI to match employees with desired projects and has facilitated the redeployment of over 3,000 employees to high-demand areas during the pandemic. This flexibility in talent enhances collaboration and fuels the generation of new ideas by fostering diversity in skills and expertise.

See more: Unilever Hive


In 2012, Heineken launched “Heineken Open Design Explorations Edition 1: The Club” by inviting a group of customer stakeholders to participate. Emerging designers from diverse backgrounds were challenged to design a new and innovative club concept. Through an online creative hub, nineteen designers engaged with thousands of Heineken fans to share ideas and co-create the concept.

The outcome of the project was the Heineken Concept Club, showcased during the 2012 Milan Design Week. The crowdsourced design drew thousands of attendees to interact with the installation and garnered significant attention from both the industry and media. This example illustrates the potential for customer co-creation to generate fresh media attention for established brands like Heineken, often at lower costs compared to traditional marketing or advertising.

See more: Designing a VIP area in a night club | a co-creation case study


For years, Xiaomi, the Chinese tech company, has fostered close relationships with its customers through its co-creation community forum, MIUI. This platform boasts over 10 million registered users and over 100,000 daily posts, attracting the brand’s most dedicated fans who discuss gadgets, share knowledge, and offer suggestions for future product designs. Over 200 Xiaomi employees regularly monitor the forum, gathering customer feedback and incorporating it into product improvements. Incentives such as rewards for participation, discounts, and exclusive benefits are provided to foster a loyal community.