Crowdsourcing is no longer just a source of information for brands, but a powerful marketing tool to help generate innovative ideas. Brands that use crowdsourcing and social media give their audience the chance to talk and actively engage with their business, which improves loyalty and engagement levels. However, in order to achieve their desired goals, brands need to show a willingness to consider the ideas generated through the crowdsourcing process, otherwise they risk losing the trust of their customers.
Crowdsourcing is an innovative process created as a way of tracking market trends and staying up-to-date with things that inspire today’s consumer. Customers are the heart of crowdsourcing since no one understands brands better than they do, and often the best ideas for product development come from the public. Nevertheless, opening up a branded channel of customer engagement requires perseverance and commitment, Simon Ward, chief executive at Holmes & Merchant, says in a post for Marketing Magazine.
Ideas generated through crowdsourcing are often dictated by current trends in the market, so the process is intended to help brands act as quickly as possible when an opportunity arises.
Making consumers part of the co-creation process is a technique already employed by a number of major brands, including Starbucks. The coffee chain used its “My Starbucks Idea” campaign to encourage coffee drinkers to propose ideas about products and experiences. Another brand to use this approach was IKEA through its “Idea Hackers” scheme, which invites customers to share pictures of how they modify IKEA furniture to fit any apartment.
How have you involved your audience in idea crowdsourcing?