Homework assignment: crowdsourcing & crowdfunding


Most companies value their fans and customers as co-creators in the product/design development. Consequently, crowdsourcing contests have been effectively used by companies, such as Ben & Jerry’s and Vitaminwater, to find new products and flavors.

In 2010 Ben & Jerry’s initiated the ‘Do the world a flavor’-contest, fans were able to invent their own ice-cream through an online ‘creation station’ on its website. There were approximately 100,000 submissions and only one winner was selected which was ‘Almond delight’ (an official Ben & Jerry’s product under the name ‘Dulce Almond’). In October 2009, Vitaminwater created the ‘flavor creator’ Facebook-app with the goal to create a new drink, fans could choose the next flavor, design the packaging and develop a name. After 40,000 submissions, only one winner was selected, the winning name was ‘connect’ for the blueberry lime taste that hit the shops in 2010.

In both cases, crowdsourcing saved the companies time and effort (strength) as their crowd were highly engaged/highly motivated (strength), the companies received many ideas (strength) but from low quality (weakness), leading to limited good solutions (weakness). Additionally, in both cases participants had a relatively small chance of winning because both companies received thousands of submissions from all over the world (weakness).

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