When it comes to crowdsourcing, many options are available. What is crowdsourcing? Crowdsourcing is basically putting questions or tasks out in the open to a large group to receive their input for the sake of innovation.
The crowd can be made up of consumers, citizens, entrepreneurs, start-ups, specialists, or enthusiasts. The objectives crowds may face can be anything from citizen or customer engagement, demand validation, user-centered product development, brand awareness or tackling unsolved problems, to name a few.
Crowdsourcing innovation is a valuable way to use the knowledge of others to your company’s advantage. Below are a few examples of companies that have been using various forms of crowdsourcing for the betterment of their business.
LEGO established the LEGO Ideas platform, where users can submit their ideas for new LEGO sets. Consumers are also able to vote and offer feedback for ideas submitted. Any idea that has received over 10,000 votes is reviewed by LEGO. If a submitter’s idea is selected, he gets to work with the LEGO team to make his idea a reality and also gets royalties on sales. The platform not only supports new idea generation, but it also enables LEGO to validate a demand for such ideas. One of the most notable sets to date is the Beatles “Yellow Submarine” set.
Unilever launched their “Sustainable Living Plan” in 2010, which sought to reduce Unilever’s carbon footprint while improving the well-being, health, and livelihoods of the people who share this earth with them. Unilever launched The Unilever Foundry as a result, which enables innovators and start-ups to act on briefs, like developing a connected ice cream cabinet. “Scouts,” which are third-party reviewers, look over submissions and the shortlisted ones are forwarded on to the Unilever team. After an in-person pitch to a panel, winners are selected and co-create pilots with the company. Mobile Movies is a Unilever success story example, which involves local agents who organize film screenings (for free) in rural communities to create jobs and create a stable supply chain that meets the needs of such communities.
PepsiCo occasionally solicits input from consumers on varying products, such as the time they asked customers to share their favorite new potato chip flavor for the company’s Lay’s brand. This ‘Do Us a Flavor’ campaign debuted in 2012 after the market share started to decline among the millennial crowd. An astonishing 14 million submissions were raked in. The winner? Cheesy Garlic Bread. An 8% increase in sales followed this clever crowdsourcing innovation campaign.
Amazon Studios has made a large place for itself in the world of TV and film production. Amazon Studios has multiple points in its production funnel that turn to the crowd, including the top end where the company allows anybody to submit concept videos and scripts. Amazon Preview is another stop along the way, which is an invite-only community that provides feedback on test-footage, storyboards, and concepts. Pilot Season is another group Amazon has generated, which enables users to watch pilots for free while voting on which should be commissioned for a full season.