Co-creating the Luxury Hotel Experience.

Blog Week 2 - Picture

Scott Maxwell, 2007

In 2012 the Klaus K hotel (part of the Kämp hotel group) in Helsinki introduced “The Klaus K Living Room Project”. For this project they used the concept co-creation by having a brainstorming session about the upcoming lounge with anyone who wanted to join (Heinrichs, 2013).

Co-creation is based on the following DART-principles:
1. Dialogue stands for “Shared learning and communication between two equal problem solvers” (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004).
2. Access stands for opening up to each other’s worlds, which leads to a faster and more efficient process to deal with problems and experiences that are more engaging and meaningful.
3. Risks stands for a risk assessment being necessary.
4. Transparency stands for avoiding that customers get the feeling that the process is only beneficial to the company.

In the following part these principles will be applied to the case of the Klaus K hotel through multiple steps of co-creation, which are based on Peelen & Beltman (2013).

Step 1: Formulating a precise question (Dialogue, Access)
The aim of this project was: “To create a world class lounge, where people would come to meet each other, remote work, eat, drink and simply spend their evenings”. Therefore, during this process, the question that needed to be answered was how this world class lounge could be designed.

Step 2: Use proper phasing (Dialogue)
This step is all about making a clear distinction between phases, which can serve as a guideline for the company. The Klaus K hotel made the following schedule for this:
In August 2012, people were allowed to send in their ideas (idea generation phase). After that, in September, the selection phase started after which a winner was announced. From October to December they had the planning and purchasing phase and in January 2013 the implementation phase started. In February 2013 the Living Room would be reopened. (“Invitation – Klaus K hotel”, 2012)

Step 3: Involving the right people (Dialogue, Risk)
“The Klaus K Living Room Project” was open to ideas from anyone during the idea generation phase, but during all the stages after that, they worked together with a smaller group and did not allow everyone to be involved anymore. By doing so, the Klaus K hotel could work more efficiently by having motivated people with an interest in the project at all times.

Step 4: Choosing the right format (Dialogue, Access)
The Klaus K hotel used crowdsourcing as a format by having a competition where everyone could send in their ideas for the project, which meant that the contestants took over the idea generating phase.

Step 5: Motivating properly (Dialogue, Access, Transparency)
The competition that the Klaus K hotel organised was a way of motivating the people to share their ideas for the Living Room. The winner of the competition would get a chance to work with a professional design team, get a personalized piece of furniture in the Living Room with a lifetime table reservation, and the possibility to hold their own party in the Living Room. (“Invitation – Klaus K hotel”, 2012)

Step 6: Deploying appropriate techniques (Dialogue, Access)
Letting others design the Living Room, gave the Klaus K hotel an idea on what the people were looking for from a functional point of view, but it also showed what type of experience people want.

Step 7: Providing feedback (Dialogue, Access, Risk)
Especially during the implementation phase, the Klaus K hotel gave regular updates on the project. During the other stages it is unclear whether the Klaus K hotel send updates to the contestants, however it is advisable to do so, since it will make them feel like their input is taken seriously.

Using co-creation as a luxury hotel group will not only save costs, but it also reduces time to market and risks of failure. Therefore it is an effective way of letting customers get involved in the value creation process and a way to improve your hotel!


Heinrichs, E. (2013, April 17). Klaus K’s new LIVINGROOM concept and Fashion Brunches brighten up Helsinki’s spring [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Invitation – Klaus K Hotel Co-creation Project Award Party. (2012, September 4). Retrieved from

Scott Maxwell (Illustrator). (2007). Working Together Teamwork Puzzle Concept [Illustration]. Retrieved from

Peelen, E. & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management (Second Edition). Amsterdam: Pearson Education Benelux BV.

Prahalad, C.K. & Ramaswamy, V. (2004). Co-creating unique value with customers. Strategy & Leadership, 32(3), pp. 4-9. DOI: 10.1108/10878570410699249


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