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.
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.
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.
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.
You probably already had one of these Glacéau bottled Vitamin Water, whether their most popular flavor ‘XXX’ or maybe the black cherry-lime flavor. Did you know that the black cherry-lime flavor was developed through social media? Vitamin Water was created by J. Darius Bikoff in 1996 in New York City (USA). While on his way to a yoga class, Bikoff wanted a beverage to hydrate himself and rise his energy level… then he came up with the idea to create this energy drink.
Started in Australia, Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign won a great success in 80 countries from 2011 to 2013. This multi-national campaign selects common first names, puts them on the label and aims to have people go out and find a bottle with their name on it, then share it with their friends. In Coke’s China market, when first hit difficulties in 2013, the campaign became probably the most inventive twist in the end. Co-creation with social media played an essential role in this success.
The advent of social media opened so many doors for businesses. It also brought about opportunities to build new doors or alter the old ones. Product innovation has changed rapidly in recent years, as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest exploded to become the social media titans they are now. Brands are becoming more and more daring with their innovation initiatives, bringing about bolder and bigger campaigns every year. Kalypso notes that many of the companies they polled on the topic don’t use it for sweeping changes or big projects – it would seem many companies are just dipping their foot in to test the water. Or maybe they are waiting to see how their peers succeed and/or fail?
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.” 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. 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.
Full disclosure: I’ve been a ‘BzzAgent’ for a number of months now. How did I find out about it? Someone else told me. In turn, I’ve told others and promoted the site to them. And that, is exactly what BzzAgent is trying to do. BzzAgent is part of dunnhumby, a customer science company that analyzes data and customer insight. According to dunnhumby they, “married science with the most expansive suite of consumer advocacy solutions on the planet to create the next generation of advocacy marketing – one created to build and sustain long-term brand growth. From insights and consumer generated content that optimise your product launch plan to widespread reviews that deliver on your brand promise to the authentic customer conversations across social media that drive product sales, you’ll feel the impact of these programs across your entire enterprise. BzzAgent’s Advocacy Suite is a blend of social and science you won’t find anywhere else – with results you won’t find anywhere else, either.” To the customer, they are marketed as a way to get freebies and sample new products that you can ‘brag’ about to your friends. There are twitter accounts and blogs devoted to ‘free stuff’ and giveaways and BzzAgent fits into that demographic perfectly.
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 »
Title of Post: How Dell Stormed into Social Media-Driven Idea Generation Organization Name: Dell Industry: Information Technology (IT) Name of Contact: Multiple calls for comments not returned over 5 days. CEO: Michael Dell Web references: crowdsourcingweek.com, Forbes.com, dell.com, ideastorm.com, wired.com Given the unprecedented advances that technology has made over the past few decades, it has become clear that the only limit to what can… Read more »
Company Name: Outdoor Edutainment, LLC Industry: Educational Gaming Contacts: Kristin Peppel, Management, Design, Advocacy, Sales Web References: Official Appalacian Trail Game Site, New Appalachian Trail Game Receives Full Funding Through Kickstarter in 48 Hours!, Hike the Appalachian Trail in your living room with new game, Kickstarter Campaign, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Mark Hanf is a middle school teacher, an avid hiker… Read more »
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 »
Organization Name: Dell Inc. Industry – Computing Technology Contacts: Richard Binhammer, Shree Dandekar – Senior Director of Business, Intelligence and Analytics at Dell Software, Bill Johnston, Dell’s Director of Global Online Communities, Barton George – Director of Dell Computer Division Web references – Dell, Social Media Explorer, USA today, Hub Spot, Briefings Direct, Youtube, Readwrite About Dell Dell is a privately owned multinational computer… Read more »
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 »
Title: Burberry Co-Creation: Designed by the People Industry: Fashion Web References:Burberry, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Wikipedia Burberry is an international luxury fashion house known for their distinctive plaid pattern and signature trench coat. The British icon has a rich history that dates back to 1856. Burberry heavily invested into their digital presence online under the leadership of Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of Burberry from… Read more »
Organization Name: Lego Industry: Toy Manufacturing CEO: Jorgen Vig Knudstorp Web references: LEGO IDEAS, YouTube, Lego , FaceBook, Twitter, About Lego The Lego Group based in Billund, Denmark is owned by the Kirk Kristionsen family and was founded in 1932. Focused on the developing the creativity of children through learning and playing, it is one of the worlds largest manufacturer… Read more »
Title of Post: LAY’S® Asks Customers to Do Them a Flavour. Organization Name: LAY’S® (PepsiCo Frito-Lay) Industry: Food & Beverage Manufacturing Web references: internationalist-awards.com, pepsico.com, Description LAY’S® is not shy to receive a helping hand from customers when it comes to creating the next big thing for America’s favourite chip. In 2006, the brand launched their “Do Us A Flavor” campaign,… Read more »
Organization Name : Quirky Industry Name : Crowd Sourced Innovation Company Founder & CEO : Ben Kaufman ( no longer with company ) Web References : london.edu, nytimes.com, quirky.com, forbes.com, fortune.com ” Innovation is the only insurance against irrelevance. It is the only guarantee of long term customer loyalty and the only strategy to outperform a dismal economy. ” … Read more »
Company: NASA Industry: Government Web References: NASA, NASA Solve, Twitter, Facebook NASA in the 21st Century 2015 is a very big year for NASA. Between missions to Mars, images from Pluto, landing probes on comets and seemingly daily breakthroughs in the search for extraterrestrial life – it is an exciting time to be a science and space exploration fan…. Read more »
Title of post: Beta testing artists with NBC’s The Voice Organization: NBC, Universal Music Group Industry: Entertainment CEO: Lucian Grainge Web references: Mashable, Shorty Awards, PTC Creo, Twitter, Carabiner Communications, Simply Measured Social media has expanded beyond the role it plays in people’s social lives – today, it plays an increasingly important role in the way people interact with the… Read more »
Organization Name: Lay’s Canada Industry: Food & Beverage Name of Contact: N/A Web References: pepsico.ca, lays.ca/flavour Twitter Posts:@layscanada, #dousaflavourcanada Facebook Posts:Lays Canada Despite the best laid plans of marketers in the food and beverage sector today, the use of social media in most marketing campaigns remains a rather listless comment/response dynamic that has done little to further the relationships customers have with brands…. Read more »
Organization: Oral-B Industry: Dental Health Care Web references: Oral-B, wikipedia, eYeka, YouTube, Peanut Labs, MaRS Once upon a time, product developers used blindfolded taste tests and home delivery (snail) mail campaigns to involve their customers. Those days have long passed into our collective nostalgia as trivia game questions. Today, we are truly on the cusp of formative changes… Read more »