Tag Archives: crowdsourcing

With roots dating back to 1943, Ikea has a history of creating affordable home furnishings for families in over 50 countries around the world. Ikea has 500 stores worldwide. Ikea’s vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people.  The Ikea business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at affordable prices. Ikea makes it their mission to understand customer lifestyles. Before creating any product, Ikea works tirelessly to understand its customers so that products can be created with the sole purpose of making life easier and better.  Over the last several years, Ikea has incorporated various social media tactics to engage customers and to generate the feedback necessary  to continuously improve and evolve existing products and  to create new innovative products. Ikea is committed to solving real needs for life at home and customer feedback is absolutely critical to the successful development of its products.  Ikea has been welcomed in the homes of countless families around the world in their quest to understand human behaviour patterns.      

In 2013, comedian Bryan Callen, asked UFC heavyweight fighter Brendan Schaub to do a podcast with him in his garage. The two were good friends, and Bryan noticed that Brendan had a natural comedic instinct, that could crack up a whole room. While both were moderately successful in their profession, nothing could prepare them for the heights their new show would soon reach. In three short years, the podcast has grown into one of the top 10 sports podcasts on Itunes. Podcasting has allowed the pair to have a stable income, while they pursue other interests. Acting and fighting are no longer their main source of income, and they can rely on income generated from their podcast. The podcast generates revenue from ad reads on the show, with many companies relying on podcasts to generate new customers. Bryan Callen had this to say about the future of social media. What’s really cool about the whole business of internet is it makes it easier and easier to have your own autonomy. The show has produced over 200 episodes, and spun off into various other side projects. Other businesses can look at The Fighter and The Kid, as inspiration to step into the future of social media.

What binds together four University of Waterloo Alumni, millennia moms, and celebrity moms like Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz, Heidi Klum, and Reese Witherspoon? Mabel’s Labels. They have developed a brand and social media marketing platform that responds to the needs of moms worldwide. What is unique about this story? The founders of Mabel’s Labels are pioneers. They started their company before the words “social” and “media” were put together in sequence (note that Facebook was founded in 2004). When founders Julie Cole, Julie Ellis, Cynthia Esp and Tricia Mumby created Mabel’s Labels through their social networks with other moms, they knew they were on to something… 2003, four busy moms noticed a huge gap in the market for durable kids’ labels. Frustrated by their children’s things getting lost, mixed up and leaving home never to return, knew they could do better than the scribbles on masking tape that were being passed off as labels. Presently, Mabels Labels has 163,600 devoted Facebook followers with a conversion rate of 5.1%.  In January 2016 they were acquired for $12 million by Canadian-based CCL Industries for its Avery North America division.

Alibaba, the largest online business company, does not manufacture or stock products on its own; Uber, the largest transportation network company globally, actually owns no vehicles; Airbnb, leading hotel and travel company, does not own any real estate. One thing they have in common is that they all create evolutionary ideas to disrupt and reform competitive landscape. Owning no inventory nor product doesn’t stop Alibaba being the supply chain management guru. In fact, in April 2016 Alibaba Group has officially surpassed Walmart and become the world’s largest retailer.  This set the milestone when the world’s largest retail market shifted from offline to online. “We used 13 years to demonstrate the power of a different business model compared with brick-and-mortar retailers,” the Alibaba Group said. A key success factor for Alibaba is to delivery comprehensive while tailored digital supply chain process to customers.  

Eight years ago, Brian’s Custom Sports occupied a vastly different space than the one they currently hold. A hockey goalie equipment manufacturer, Brian’s was known as a custom graphic company. They made high end equipment, but customers were drawn to the custom designs they could put on the pads, rather than the specifications of the gear itself. Brian’s changed the game in 2008 when they did something no other company was doing at the time, they created a Facebook page. The introduction of this page not only gave the company a massive new following, but also started them down the path of becoming the leader in technological innovation. Brian’s used there social media reach to innovate products for the high and low end markets.

Social media and connectivity has gone through a long way in changing human lives. As to business organizations, utilizing social media becomes an emerging trend during production developments process. Especially for consumer facing product development, leveraging social media truly helps to break the geographic and segment barriers in order to be more innovative.

DeWALT Inc. is a leading worldwide consumer power tool company, founded in 1924 and acquired by Stanley Black & Decker in 1960. Currently, DeWALT manufactures and sells more than 200 different power hand-tools and 800 accessories. (Wikipedia, 2016). When DeWALT became a customer of Canadian company Vision Critical Communications Inc., an online Insight Community was launched and it would forever change how they develop and design their products.  

Organizations are always looking for new and innovative ways to reach out to consumers and drive loyalty. Social media is used for a lot of different things when it comes to business, from receiving customer feedback to advertising new products. Recently, companies have started to involve their customers in a very crucial part of their business, the product development and design of their products. Some companies are using social media platforms for the company’s advantage in order to enhance the development of the next great product, while making customers feel valued by listening to their opinions and ideas. In 2013, Tesco, a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer decided to do something different. This organization had an amazing initiative to get their whole social media following involved in the process of creating a new wine, mainly through Facebook.

Social front end product development is a concept that is gaining traction in the business world. Why? Because it yields off the charts results! Front-end product development involves using social media to gain valuable insights on what customers want. But, it’s not just about social listening, it’s about engaging clients directly in the creation and development of a product or service.

“Steaming” Ahead with Product Development and Design

Catherine Mills   June 14, 2016

In Spring of 1998 after recently being fired from a brewery, three friends set out on a canoe trip.  That canoe trip would lead to a campfire conversation that would change all of their lives. Greg Taylor, Cam Heaps and Greg Cromwell “The Three Fired Guys” wanted to make a Pilsner that would compete with the best in the world. They did just that! Their brewery is named Steam Whistle, drawing from the inspirational sounds of steam rushing from factory whistles, signalling the end of a fulfilling workday and a time for personal reward.1 The Three Fired Guys built their company with a retro feel, when marketing of goods relied on the trust between manufacturer and consumers. Steam Whistle understands the importance of listening to their consumers and makes ever effort to do so by utilizing social media.

The Waze Craze Commuters usually know a few different ways to get to their desired destinations. There’s the everyday route, the scenic route and the back route but they are always faced with the question of which way is the best at this exact moment. That’s where the mobile app Waze comes in to play – the world’s largest crowdsourced GPS based traffic and navigation app. With over a million users in some countries, Waze connects users to create a real time traffic navigation community. It can be used for avoiding traffic jams, accidents, police speed traps, road blockages, even the cheapest nearby fuel! They call their community of users “Wazers” and add some fun to their daily commutes with status rankings within the community that are dependent on how much you use the app. Waze also offers limited time celebrity navigation voices to guide you from point A to B – imagine hearing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice saying “Hasta La Vista, Baby” at the end of your journey. They have even added a social side to the app with the ability to see nearby friends on the map as well as sharing your drive to see when everyone else is arriving to your destination.

In the 1950’s and 60’s Evelyn Ryan, a mother of 10 kept her children fed by entering and winning contests for jingles and advertising slogans of 25 words or less. She submitted multiple entries, under various names, for contests by Dial, Lipton, Paper Mate and Kleenex. Evelyn’s story, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio  has been told in both print, with a biography written by her daughter and on the silver screen, where she was portrayed by Julianne Moore. What Evelyn and these other companies didn’t realize is they were one of the first to introduce what we now call Crowdsourcing.

Lego has come a long way since 1932, when it was originally founded by a small-time carpenter named Ole Kirk Kristiansen from Denmark. The company was passed down within the family, and today the Kristiansen family remains the sole “shareholders” of the once-small toy business. Currently, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp is the CEO of the well-known global enterprise. Lego has continued to remain a household name because they continue to reinvent themselves to be even better than before. They consistently keep up with trends whether it be their latest Lego sets, Lego movies, or their marketing strategies. These popular building blocks have remain in demand over the last 80 years for their product quality and for it’s influence in fostering imagination from people both young and old.

  Through its innovative My Starbucks Idea, the company known for fresh roasted beverages, wholesome food on the go, and the decadent Iced Caramel Macchiato, is looking your way for their next great product idea.  

In the Healthcare industry the gap between the providers and receivers is narrowing.  Technological advancements in particular Social Media is the catalyst of this. Crowdsourcing in health care has become a popular trend these days despite the meticulous requirements for specialization, limitations surrounding privacy and strict governance.  It is an instrumental tool in finding patient care solutions and cost reductions that previously would not have been possible. Barbara Prainsack (Professor in Sociology and Politics of Bioscience Brunel University London / GB), delivers an excellent presentation at at TEDxSalzburg about how Crowdsourcing is becoming more prevalent in the Medical field.  She stresses the divide between the two sides: the medical experts and those receiving the care is no longer tenable.  Dr. Prainsack explains, this is as a result of the way in which we as society use technology to communicate, and the need for us to be advocates in our own health care. The age old adage “Two brains are better than one,” is literally meaningful in this context. The more brains, equals more ideas, equals greater chance to solve a problem or find a solution. Jeff Howe, author of “The Rise of Crowdsourcing”, pointed out that: “Crowds are more than wise – they are talented, creative, and stunningly productive.”[1] The application of Crowdsourcing is extremely applicable within the healthcare industry. Whether it be doctors around the world collaborating on a patience diagnoses, or patients helping companies design prosthetics, so that they are able to lead better lives.  I believe that crowdsourcing is intrinsic to our very nature. Although, we may or may not be professionals in the field it is the idea of making a difference, that is the real motivation for most people. One ingenious crowdsourcing initiative was the Columbia Design Challenge. Realizing the urgency to control the outbreak, the deans at Columbia Engineering and the Mailman School of Public Health sponsored a rapid-fire design challenge to confront the Ebola crisis. The idea behind the challenge was to not only come up with rapid low-cost, real-time solutions, from concept to deployment, but also engage the Columbia community—from all disciplines—to take action, collaborate, and have an impact on this critical global issue.[2] For more on this extraordinary contest please listen to Anna Maria Tremonti’s Interview called  “Competition for Solutions finds new ideas to contain Ebola through crowdsourcing truly ground-breaking.” – The Current : Feature series By Design (3rd November 2014)  Listen 27:30 Dwayne Spradlin CEO of Health Data Consortium… Read more »

It seems like not that long ago that my previous employer instated a company-wide ban on social media websites and blocked us from accessing any of them from our company computers. It also seems like it wasn’t that long after that they lifted the ban and rolled out the enterprise social network Yammer and encouraged its use. So why the about-face? How did social media go from being a workplace pariah to an invaluable business tool? For companies like my previous employer—and many others that deal in consumer products—one of the key benefits to an enterprise social network is collaboration. Collaboration breeds innovation and innovation is key to success when new ideas and products are your business.

Fundraisers – Facebook’s New Tools for Charities.

Forrester Hinds   November 20, 2015

Organization name: Facebook Website: https://www.facebook.com/ Industry: Social Media. Advertise Your Cause, Attract Supporters, Accrue Donations, and Align Graphics to Show Goal Progression. In 2013, the developers at Facebook began testing tools for non-profits and charities to raise funds on their platform and allow for easy sharing of content. The popularity of social media for both business and consumers is no… Read more »

HONY – Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Lynn Jeffries   November 9, 2015

Title of Post: Humans of New York (HONY) – Harnessing the Power of Social Media Industry: Arts/Humanities References: Wikipedia HONY Facebook Social media has the power to do more than just help brands promote products. It also has the ability to connect with people globally on an emotional level.  Brandon Stanton, the creator of Humans of New York (HONY) uses his social… Read more »

Better Late Than Not Man Crate! Have Fun Gift-Giving and Participating in the Supply Chain.

Forrester Hinds   October 27, 2015

Organisation name: Man Crates. Website: http://www.mancrates.com/gifts-for-men Industry: Curated and themed masculine gift boxes. Brag-worthy Gifts for Guys, Crowbar Included. With only the $1000 he was allowed by his wife, Jonathan Beekman created the business that is today known as Man Crates. Man Crates offers customers the ability to purchase and ship themed gifts contained in unique and memorable packaging; and contents… Read more »

Making a World of Difference Half a World Away

Dianne McBride   October 23, 2015
egg and chicken

                                           Making a World of Difference Half a World Away      A Supply Chain Process to Improve the Lives of  the Impoverished  Eggs are one of those classic staples in the fridge. We don’t even think about them – just… Read more »

Madison Electric Products – Turning the telescope for innovative product development

ASeymour   October 20, 2015

Industry: Electrical Contact: Rob Fisher, Vice President of Marketing, Madison Electric Products References: The Brand Establishment myMadison blog Twitter YouTube LinkedIn tED Magazine (The Electric Distributor Magazine) Brad Huff Post Simply Measured Blog The challenge What began as a rebranding exercise turned into one of the most successful new product innovation programs that has garnered more than 400 suggestions, 7… Read more »

Dell Takes Ideation and Product Innovation by “Storm” with Online Community

jvaishnav   October 19, 2015
dell

Organization name: Dell Inc. Industry: Computer hardware Name of contact: Michael Dell, Founder, Chairman & CEO Web references: Wikipedia, About IdeaStorm, Merriam-Webster Dictionary – crowdsourcing,  eWeek article – EMC Will Be Latest and Greatest of Dell’s Many Acquisitions, Business Computing World article – How to Make the Most Out of Crowdsourcing, FIR IndeaStorm Interview with Project Manager Cy Jervis, Video: Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding Explained About… Read more »

Prize4Life

cdiesbourg   October 19, 2015

Organization Name: Prize4Life, a non-profit organization Industry: NPO Web references: http://techxb.com/prize4life-an-example-of-the-power-of-crowd-smarts, https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fund-the-prize-solve-als-together#/, http://www.prize4life.org/ Prize4life – An Example of The Power Of Crowd Smarts Prize4Life is a non-profit organization that focuses on accelerating the discovery of treatments and cures for ALS – Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Prize4Life used the enticement prize model, as… Read more »

My Starbucks Idea: Product Development Through Social Media

bmfwong   October 19, 2015

Organization Name: Starbucks Industry: Coffee Shop Web Reference: Forbes, Starbucks, My Starbucks Idea Starbucks is one of the most recognizable coffeehouse in the world. Their success has been attributed to their ability to stay consistent with their product offerings, storefront ambiance, and having a menu option that suits many people’s taste buds. However, Starbucks continues to push their competitive advantage over other national coffeehouses by… Read more »

Texas Instruments’ E2E Community helps Facilitate Customer Innovations

kcress   October 19, 2015
tigirl

Organization Name:  Texas Instruments Industry:  Semiconductors Contact:  Mike Guillory, Worldwide Corporate Brand Communications, Texas Instruments Web Resources:Texas Instruments, E2E Community, Enterprise Social Collaboration Research Paper, Social Media Today, Vimeo, CMO Radio About Texas Instruments An” ingredient” brand within the world’s most recognized “host” brands such as Dell, Sony and Apple, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a B2B company with a diverse history.  Founded… Read more »