Five brands using crowdsourcing for product and marketing ideas

During a recent discussion about a colleague’s obsession with Lego I was informed of the toymaker’s forays into crowdsourcing new product ideas.

This isn’t a particularly new tactic and I’ve flagged up examples of crowdsourcing in the past, but it’s a topic that’s worth revisiting as more brands get on board.

So in order to inspire your own campaigns or product development, here are five other brands using crowdsourcing…

Lego: building a customer community, brick-by-brick

Everybody loves Lego. It’s possibly the most warmly regarded brand on the planet. I can hear that unmistakable rummaging of a thousand pieces of plastic as I write this sentence. Ah, bliss.

Lego’s online strategy and how it can improve its social reach has been discussed on this blog before, and it looks as if Lego is now making huge strides in its sociability with the crowdsourcing site Lego CUUSOO.

According to Brickipedia, the brilliantly named Lego Wiki, the word cuusoo when translated loosely from Japanese means to ‘wish something into existence’. This really is the perfect way to describe Lego’s crowdsourcing initiative. 

Eight brands that crowdsourced marketing and product ideas

Nissan has just announced a new marketing campaign that uses its social channels to allow fans to help customise and name a one-off version of the Juke Nismo.

The campaign, which is fronted by ex-F1 driver Johnny Herbert, asks fans to contribute ideas for the kind of technology that should be incorporated into the car using the hashtag #Jukeride.

The idea is to use digital technology to help Nissan’s professional driver’s improve their skills, while also allowing the brand’s social community to get involved with the development process.

A key part of the campaign involves a companion remote control helicopter that takes off from the roof of the car and tracks the driver’s performance while also providing unique footage of motorsports events.

Kickstarter reminds consumers: we’re not a store

Crowdfunding is on the rise, and while crowdfunded investments in startups are some months off in the United States, services like Kickstarter have given individuals and businesses a viable way to raise money — in some cases hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

As the most prominent crowdfunding platform in the U.S., Kickstarter’s biggest success stories are well-publicized, but there’s also a dark side to Kickstarter that is increasingly being talked about.

Citroën launches Facebook app to crowdsource new C1 design

Citroën has launched a Facebook app that it says will create the UK’s first ever crowdsourced production vehicle.

Facebook users will be able to choose the design for a special edition of the company’s new C1 city car, called the C1 Connexion.

The app allows users to provide input on six elements of the design – the number of doors; the exterior and interior colours; equipment such as Bluetooth or satnav; and alloy wheels.

Users can decided if they want to use a personalised version of the app, which requires access to more of their data, or a ‘non personalised experience’ which only requires access to the user’s basic information.

Boehringer Ingelheim partners with Kaggle to crowdsource scientific problem

Pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim is partnering with Kaggle, the platform that uses gamification to solve complex scientific problems, to create a new model relating to molecular development.

The company wants to use knowledge from the online scientific community to create a new model that will help its scientists accurately predict the biological response of molecules.

Domino’s asks Australian Facebook fans to create a new pizza

Ever-innovative Domino’s Pizza has today launched a campaign in Australia called “The Social Pizza”.

The brand will give its Facebook fans the power to create a new pizza, which in turn will be sold on its menu across the country.

For the next week, fans will vote on their favourite crust, sauce and ingredients, with the most popular selection each day added to the pizza. Then, people will be able to win $1,000 by naming the finished pizza.

Bobbi Brown uses Facebook to crowdsource lip colour revival

Here’s another strong example of circular thinking, this time from Bobbi Brown.

The brand announced today that it would be launching a Facebook appeal to crowdsource which shades of lip colour the company will put back into production this autumn.

Six reasons to avoid design contests

The newly-launched StartUp Britain website, which is backed by the U.K.
government, “is designed to make it easier for new companies and
innovations to flourish and encourage people who aspire to start new
businesses to work for themselves.”

But it’s the subject of a significant amount of criticism. Some say it
lacks all substance, and is little more than a low-quality link farm.
Others point out that it promotes sites filled with affiliate links.

Some of the biggest criticism, however, has centered on StartUp Britain’s
promotion of 99designs, a US-based service that runs crowdsourced design

10 things that have been crowdsourced in 2011

Crowdsourcing is all the rage, as brands move closer to their audiences and make use of co-creation sites to unearth winning ideas.

I thought I’d list a few of the more recent examples of crowdsourcing to highlight how brands (and other people) are embracing it.