This case tracks the relationship between Catalina, a provider of customized coupons for consumer packaged goods manufacturers, and the Meijer Stores supermarket chain. An optional instructor-only multimedia product is available featuring top company executives talking about the co-creation of this new product with a major customer. Class discussion centers on the challenges of executing a co-creation initiative in business-to-business settings. Suitable for both MBA and executive learners, it prompts students to identify the criteria for selecting a co-creation partner and debate the best team structure for co-creating products. Should Catalina co-create the cardless loyalty program with Meijer? Who would bear the expenses of developing this new service? Catalina's CEO must retain Meijer as a member of its network of retailers that print customized coupons at checkout. Meijer's departure could prompt other retailers to follow, thereby affecting Catalina's value proposition to CPG manufacturers. One option is to help Meijer develop a cardless loyalty program. But Catalina has no prior experience with that type of program. Still, its customized-coupon skills are potentially portable to a cardless loyalty program.
The case objectives are to (1) introduce customer co-creation in business-to-business settings; (2) to understand that customer co-creation can be an effective retention mechanism; (3) to show that successful co-creation requires investments from both partners in the relationship, that it can be time-consuming, and that the financial benefits from such a venture may be hard to establish; and (4) to show that an organizational realignment is necessary when an organization develops a new customer-focused venture.