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Trendy Tuesday: Crowdsourcing

Brands are beginning to leverage the power of crowdsourcing through social media outlets, and we’re seeing some interesting strategies out there.

It’s no secret that crowdsourcing can rally large groups of people over a particular cause, but what’s more is that it successfully engages. Brands are beginning to leverage the power of crowdsourcing through social media outlets, and we’re seeing some interesting strategies out there.

McDonald’s tapped the power of crowdsourcing with Razorfish Germany for their “Mein Burger” campaign. They designed a website where users had the opportunity to build their dream burger. In the final throws of the campaign the burgers were voted on by about five million people–the winner being the Pretzeinator–a smorgasbord of cheeses and ham on a pretzel bun. The Pretzeinator will be sold at every McDonald’s in Germany.

At this year’s SXSW, Sam Adams introduced a similar thinking. Under the stewardship of Guy Kawasaki, the folks at Sam Adams launched the innovative “Crowd Craft Project.” In the lead up to SXSW, consumers were prompted to visit the project’s Facebook page to submit the beer attributes of their choice, including: clarity, color, body, hops and malt. The elected brewski–B’Austin–debuted at Guy Kawasaki’s ‘Girl + Guy’ SXSW bash.

Quirky, a social product development company uses crowdsourcing as a systematic approach to generating new ideas and guage consumer appeal. For ten dollars anyone can submit a curated, product concept. The idea gets evaluated by the Quirky team and a pool of participants to judge its overall consumer acceptance. If the concept is accepted, Quirky pays for manufacturing and the products are sold on the Quirky site, and shipped to the company’s retail partners: Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Walmart, The Container Store, including several others. Winning inventors receive product royalties from Quirky on a continual basis, and there is no limit to how many ideas a user can submit, so get brainstorming.

We can attribute high levels of consumer engagement to the fact that crowdsourced campaigns actually provide consumers and participants with tangible results, giving them an incentive to participate and collaborate over the next big product launch. The sky is the limit in this arena, and we’re anxious to see what brand is going to push the boundaries next.