Is your brand’s relationship with your customer a one-way street? Do you find yourself doing all the talking? With evolving technology and increased brand engagement, the consumer’s voice is louder than ever. Here are a couple ways to strengthen your brand connection through crowdsourcing and avoid a nasty breakup with your consumer.
What is Crowdsourcing?
Consumers are becoming more engaged with companies in several aspects; contributing to the betterment of products and services, company brainstorming, designing new products, issue management, and feedback. By crowdsourcing - giving consumers a voice in decision-making processes - companies are deepening their relationships, giving consumers a feeling that they are connected to and part of their brand. At this point, countless companies have caught on and have opened up aspects of their business decisions to their consumers.
Crowdsourcing Campaigns Are a Hit!
- Frito-Lay asked fans to come up with new and innovative ideas for chip flavors. Lays chose some of the best flavor ideas and is making them come to life. The three most popular flavors will be sent into production, and the flavor that garners the most sales will join Lay’s line of products permanently.
- NASA turned to the general public to vote on its Z2 spacesuit design, giving three options of space suit design that focused on “Technology”, “Bio mimicry,” and “Trends in Society.” NASA announced the winner at the end of April 2014 and will design the new spacesuit by November 2014 for use in practice simulations.
- Coca Cola had a reputation for secrecy in its special drink formula. Now, the brand is operating on a more open business model. Its campaign “Shaping a Better Future” asks various out-sourced entrepreneurs and professionals to come up with different improvement endeavors for the company in the fields of youth employment, the environment, education and health. Coca-Cola’s “Where Will Happiness Strike Next?” is another great crowdsourcing campaign that relies heavily on the input of Coke fans for ideas to create happiness on social media platforms. Coke also seeks crowd-sourced suggestions on its website for marketing its products more effectively.
Crowdsourcing in Social Media
As consumers become more connected, it becomes easier for companies to quickly gather feedback and input. You don’t necessarily need a huge campaign to increase your consumer engagement! Social media is a great medium to interact in a two-way, open communication model.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ are great digital venues for questions and feedback. Smartphones have placed accessibility to your brand directly in the pocket or purse of your consumer. The Pew Research center 2014 report shows that 58% of American adults have a smartphone and 40% of cell phone owners use a social networking site on their phone daily. A well-maintained social presence can provide immediate feedback from your audience.
The Implications of Crowdsourcing
All of this being said, the consumer is not always right. A large part of the new relationship with the public will focus on the right mix between offering the public the feeling of power, while placing a limit on potential recklessness. Ultimately, the challenge is to cultivate a conversation that benefits both parties - giving consumers a sense of power and participation, and providing marketers with a deeper understanding of their wants and needs.
Open dialogue with the public can do more than directly benefit brands. LaneTerralever uses many engagement and crowdsourcing techniques when addressing the needs of clients and consumers. Crowdsourcing can be used to address problems, create new products and receive feedback. With the help of smartphones reaching your consumer is more accessible than ever! Listening to people and providing direction around a common theme can tackle any issue. All that is required is a two-way connection and a vested interest.