While much of the activity surrounding social media for business performance has focused on marketing and advertising products already in the marketplace, Fiat has pushed the envelope by incorporating it into their product development strategies.
The Fiat Mio, launched at the 26th International Automobile Trade Show in October 2010, is the result of extensive collaboration between designers and thousands of consumers through Fiat’s social network, and is introduced on the Fiat website as:
“.. a combination of ideas.
Your ideas combined with our will to realize them will create a new way of thinking the future of motor vehicles.”
The process, dubbed crowdsourcing, pulled Fiat’s customers directly into the product development lifecycle, allowing them to participate in the creation and design of the final product. Through crowdsourcing, Fiat accomplished two significant feats: an engaged customer base invested in a product well before its launch and a final product that truly incorporated the ideas and desires of the consumer.
Fiat’s use of social media as part of their product development strategy is a relatively novel concept; EDITD reports that a recent poll by CIMdata shows that “91% of companies are missing out on the opportunity to use social media for product development.” However, as social media technologies become more prevalent and global competition intensifies, social media promises to gain more traction and play an integral role in the future of product development.
Submitted By: Rahim Lalani
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