To warm everyone up for this weeks topic, I did a little research on crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is the process in which companies or individuals engage a ‘crowd’ to contribute to a specific project or cause. Usually the crowd will benefit from their contribution, hence there is a common goal, which is often efficiency, innovation or problem solving (Crowdsourcing Week 2015).
An example of a company acing crowdsourcing is Starbucks and its successful platform MyStarbucksIdea.com. The platform was launched in 2008, which positions Starbucks as one of the first adopters of engaging a crowd in product development on such a large scale. In the year of the launch of the website, consumers had submitted over 70,000 ideas, generating valuable information to the company. In 2014, over 190,000 ideas were submitted, of which 300 have been implemented by Starbucks (Gurley, G 2014).
The platform is built for customers to submit ideas for better products, ways to improve the customer experience, and allows customers to provide feedback on products and experiences. This provides Starbucks with free ideas, feedback, customer loyalty, an edge over its competition and the ability to replace costly and lengthy focus groups for product development. On the other hand, consumers are eager to contribute as they have the opportunity to create a better product for themselves. Customers tend to get annoyed when companies make numerous changes without consulting their opinion. Hence, Starbucks has created a win-win situation for the company and customers.
Everyone can create an account on the website and submit their own ideas, vote and comment on ideas submitted by others. This virtual platform has become an online community with the goal to share and discuss ideas revolving around Starbucks.
What do you think about MyStarbucksIdea.com and similar platforms? Why do you think some companies are still lagging behind when it comes to this type of social media engagement? Is it hard to implement? Can you think of any drawbacks of crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing Week. (2015). What Is Crowdsourcing?. Available: http://crowdsourcingweek.com/what-is-crowdsourcing/. Last accessed 19th Oct 2015.
Gurley, G. (2014). Starbucks’ Crowdsourcing Success. Available:
http://blog.betterific.com/2014/03/25/starbucks-crowdsourcing-success/. Last accessed 19th Oct 2015.