Want FREE Help with your Business? Crowdsource!

Regardless of the state of the economy, “free” is and always will be good. Who doesn’t want help for their business at no cost? Previous options included reluctant friends and family members or possibly interns that may work for free. Within the last decade or so a new source of budget-friendly labor has emerged — the public at large. With the advent of the Internet, compounded by the introduction and immense popularity of social media, crowdsourcing has become a go-to resource for companies to address a variety of needs, from advertising to graphic design and product development. Crowdsourcing allows you to use your own consumers to answer questions and even deliver needed work to your company for a fraction of the cost (or free, most of the time) when compared to working internally or outsourcing the tasks.

Many companies use crowdsourcing from the very small with limited budgets to the very large with many more resources. It offers so much more than the financial savings. Getting input, advice and actual deliverables direct from your consumers only helps to hedge the successful impact to your business. Here are three examples of how you might consider using crowdsourcing to address your business needs:

Help with Graphic Design – Starbucks Logo

There are some very talented people out there who would LOVE to add to their graphic design portfolios. A popular crowdsourcing site tapped into this need when they solicited the public at large to submit design ideas for a new Starbucks logo. In 2011, to mark their 40th anniversary, Starbucks debuted a new logo… one without their name. It was met with much criticism. People felt like they could improve upon the new design.

In response, a contest was launched by an unrelated entity to design a new Starbucks logo. The result was overwhelming. Over 250 creative entries were offered for consideration, with three winners receiving a few hundred bucks apiece. The man hours spent to receive this many designs would have otherwise cost thousands of dollars. Had Starbucks been the one to conduct the contest, they could have saved a lot of money, possibly not even needing to give out prize money at all. The notoriety alone of being the one to design the company logo would have been prize and motivation enough for many graphic designers.

Need some help with graphics? Conduct a contest. Prizes can be monetary, or just the pride of knowing a design will be used by the hosting business.

Help with New Product Development – Hasbro Monopoly Game

Earlier this year we were all caught off guard upon hearing the news that Hasbro would be retiring one of the pieces of their popular Monopoly Game. In addition, they would replace that retired piece with a new, more current one. In a very smart move, Hasbro put the decision making process out to the public to not only decide which piece to retire, but also which piece to replace it with. By involving the public, they ensured that both decisions would be positively accepted by a majority of the consumers who play the game. This strategy also gave them a vehicle to remind the marketplace of the game and its evolving desire to stay relevant for new generations of players.

Traditional product development processes would have had Hasbro conduct market research and focus groups, costing thousands of dollars to determine which piece to retire and which replacement piece to choose. Instead, not only did they save big, but they received millions of impressions from all the free press received from news outlets covering the story of the game piece change and how it would be determined.

Looking to refine a product or even introduce a new product? Ask the consumers who would be buying your product to give you ideas, advice or even design it for you.

Help with Advertising – Doritos Super Bowl Ad

Probably the most popular and arguably a very successful use of crowdsourcing would be the Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” contest. First introduced in 2007, Frito-Lay, the makers of Doritos, invited consumers to make their own Dorito commercials. Finalists would be chosen for a public vote and winners would have their commercial aired during the Super Bowl. As if having your commercial air during the Super Bowl wasn’t prize enough, finalists would also win $25,000. Should the winning commercial place among the top three overall best Super Bowl commercials, additional prize money, up to one million dollars, could be awarded.

Frito-Lay has not only saved man hours and financial resources by crowdsourcing the ad idea as well as the production of the commercial, but also engaged thousands of consumers with its brand and netted a few very popular ads.

Take advantage of You Tube, Instagram and other online venues to help define your advertising pieces. It will save money and yield some very creative ideas you may not have otherwise considered.

Small Businesses Can Crowdsource Too

These were examples of large, well-established companies with the means to conduct business in traditional ways, yet choose to crowdsource. Not only does it save money, but it helps build and spread brand awareness. Smaller businesses can take a cue from these larger companies and use crowdsourcing to supplement their internal needs. There is a public out there waiting to offer opinions, ideas and whatever else you may need. In this digital age, the opportunity to crowdsource is even more prevalent with the Internet, social media and even specific crowdsourcing sites to help you solve your business issues. Tap into this rich and budget-friendly resource and watch your consumers work with you to help build and grow your business.


About Insights Discovered

Penny Redlin is a regular contributor to the “Business Sense” feature on The Giggle Guide®, sharing insights about business planning, effective communications and marketing strategies.

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Insights Discovered was founded by Penny Redlin in an effort to share her professional expertise within the children’s product category. The company’s mission is to give every mompreneur an opportunity for success. Insights Discovered exclusively services children’s products brands. The specific industry focus demonstrates a strong dedication to the unique needs of children’s products companies. Insights Discovered offers strategic planning, market research and traditional marketing services.

For more information, visit www.insightsdiscovered.com or call 702.218.5707.

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