My colleague Bart published a great blog on Monday titled 4 Ways Crowdsourcing Will Strengthen Your Social Media Community. To quote from his post, “crowdsourcing is deliberate, active listening". Brands often seek engagement through crowdsourcing via direct appeals for feedback, contests, polls or surveys. When brands are creating a new product line or service, crowdsourcing gives fans an opportunity to make their mark.
Bart’s post got me thinking about specific examples of brands that have done this well. Here are some campaigns that came to mind.
Mountain Dew – “Dewmocracy”
In 2007, Mountain Dew launched this contest to allow its customers to choose the next product flavor. The initial campaign was a success and it culminated in the 2009 product lunch of “Voltage”. The brand used this engagement strategy again in 2009, this time with three flavors for fans to weigh in on, and the winner was announced in 2010.
Starbucks – “My Starbucks Idea”
The “My Starbucks Idea” campaign is a case study in crowdsourcing feedback on both the brand and product level. The campaign encourages people to submit their comments and ideas on everything related to Starbucks. It also keeps consumers in the loop on what ideas Starbucks is currently implementing. Starbucks has also added some gamification elements to engage its customers, including a leader board. At the end of the day, the brand is getting a steady stream of feedback and business ideas while deepening the bond with its customers and evangelists.
Pepsi – “Pepsi Refresh”
Pepsi Cola’s “Refresh” campaign is a different example because it doesn’t relate to products or services. Pepsi realized early on that the Millennial generation is passionate about supporting good causes and wants to see the brands they buy from do the same. The Pepsi Refresh campaign used money budgeted for marketing and allowed fans to submit ideas and vote for funding to carry out local community projects.