Posted by: midwestgirl2eastcoastaddress | November 10, 2009

Response Blog #8 – Join the Crowd!

Instead of turning to high-paid marketing analysts and consultants, companies are now turning to internet users for ideas, designs, and creative marketing ideas – traditionally, with no money exchanging hands.  This concept of leveraging ideas from a group or a community is called crowdsourcing.

To me, crowdsourcing is one of those concepts that I have seen in work but never really participated in or heard much about.  It wasn’t until a recent discussion in class where I realized the sheer genius behind the concept – IF done right.

A few examples: A website where companies can post their brand logos, either current or future, and get internet user’s reaction in a single word or sentence. (great example from a classmate of mine): Over 400 internet users (and Star Wars fans) have the opportunity to pick a 15 second scene of the Star Wars movie and submit a video reenactment.  Later, the scenes from all users will be “chunked” together to make a single movie.

And probably one of the most familiar examples, Apple Apps for iPhones and iTouch: I always realized that these were developed by everyday Apple users, but it didn’t occur to me that this is an example of crowdsourcing.  Almost 100,000 apps and counting

Crowdsourcing can be an excellent (and cost-effective) way to build brand awareness and loyalty, but the key is to give the users or consumers what they want in return for their time and effort.  Followers of social media call this the Promise, Bargain, Tool concept.  The Starbucks My Starbucks Idea site is an excellent example of this.  The Starbucks site allows users to share and discuss ideas, vote on other’s ideas, and see the results.  Whereas the Brandtags crowdsourcing example may not be as effective because users are merely asked to comment on different logos, but you don’t necessary know the result of your effort.

Otherwise, I give crowdsourcing a thumbs up and would encourage communicators and marketers to explore this avenue of social media.



  1. Good post, Kendra.

    Question: Would you buy a product from a crowdsource-powered site? Have you?

  2. Absolutely! In fact, that is one point that I didn’t address in my blog. I think crowdsourcing gives the site, the organization/company, products, etc., a higher level of credibility and confidence — in the mind of the user/consumer.

    Say the Threadless T-Shirt website, for example. If it were just the average site trying to sell Ts, I probably wouldn’t be apt to buy a t-shirt from this site. Personally, I am not about to give over my credit card information to a site that doesn’t have established credibility. Before last class, I have never heard of Threadless, but since so many contribute to the site (designs, comments, votes) I will probably go there the next time I am in the market for a t.

  3. […] an earlier post I discussed crowdsourcing, the concept of outsourcing tasks traditionally performed by an employee […]

  4. […] 2012 candidates are social media smart, they will use crowd sourcing methods to win the election.  Remember: Crowdsourcing is the act of leveraging ideas from a group or a community.  How? Ask the audience […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: