Minted: Making a Mint Off Crowdsourced Design

jaimieshort    October 23, 2013



Crowdsourcing has become a popular way to develop new products but many companies such as Frito-Lay use widespread campaigns to develop one new product. However, Minted uses crowdsourcing on a regular basis to keep their product line fresh and up-to-date.

Minted was founded in 2008 by co-founders Mariam Naficy and Melissa Kim. To date, Minted generates more than $10 million in revenue and has 115 employees. It sells various types of stationery: wedding invitations, greeting cards and other party decor. Some of their revenue is generated from creating branded stationary but the majority of their sales comes from crowdsourcing-based design model.

design_challenge_home_bannerThe website boasts, “At Minted, all that matters is good design. Our professional design challenges rely on the wisdom of the crowd – designers, customers, the Minted team, and fans – to vote for their favorite designs.” Initially, crowdsourcing for new designs was something the pair experimented with. The company acted as a middle-man for stationery products and crowdsourced some items. Now, “Ninety-nine percent of our sales come from products that are crowd sourced,” said Naficy.

New artwork and designs are accepted on a monthly basis through various competitions for items such as a new baby shower invite or a Christmas card. Independent designers are located all over the world and can submit as many designs as they wish. There is financial reward for winning artwork; designers can win up to $1000 for a 1st place design and will receive between 6-8% commission of online sales of their design.

Not only does Minted crowdsource for new design but they look for feedback from their community to decide what new designs end up on their online retail site. The Minted community votes to see their favourite designs come to fruition.

What others can learn from Minted

For Minted, crowdsourcing for new designs has resulted in a core stream of revenue. Crowdsourcing allows for your customers to decide what they want to purchase and may be a viable option for retailers.

Website References:

  1. Minted
  2. Crowdsourcing design cards – A success story 
  3. Minted mints $41 million in new funding for its crowdsourced design market
  4. Crowdsourcing as a Small Business Marketing Strategy

Submitted By: Jaimie Short, SMBP Student, University of Waterloo

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