As technology continues to evolve, our world is connecting like never before. Not only can these connections expand our network, but they can also grow our businesses.
Through crowdsourcing, businesses can harness the brainpower and skillsets of large groups across the globe for countless ideas regarding any aspect of branding.
Crowdsourcing as part of your marketing strategy
Crowdsourcing is the problem-solving method that pools ideas from a diverse group of thinkers.
This approach offers a productive and cost-effective way to gather ideas that you would not have developed on your own.
There are various ways to crowdsource. One efficient way to do this is to go online and use an established platform or even create your own. This allows for you to access a broad scope of talent.
After running over 20,000 crowdsourced name contests here at Squadhelp, we have compiled five ways crowdsourcing will transform your marketing and branding strategy.
1. You discover your needs.
When crafting your branding strategy, you may not realize what your brand needs until you map it all out. What if it turns out that you need to do full rebranding?
The first step in crowdsourcing is to break down the basics of what your company needs in terms of branding. Your crowdsourcing experience will be more successful with clearly defined goals and details of your project.
For example, if you need a strong business name, break down your ideas by starting with large concepts and funneling down to smaller ones.
You can place your ideas in a project brief, a place where the creative community can view the campaign needs.
Developing a brief not only gives you a better sense of how to crowdsource, but it also gives your crowd the materials and information they need to succeed.
By writing an engaging, comprehensive project brief, you will draw in responses that more closely resonate with your target audience.
2. No shortage of ideas.
Even the most experienced marketers hit a creative wall. Staying inspired can become a huge hurdle to leap.
Crowdsourcing breathes new life into a brand concept or name that may have grown cold. The process drives creativity forward as a multitude of ideas flood in from around the world.
You’re no longer siloed in a singular way of thinking. It’s a perfect solution for people looking to solve problems they feel stuck in.
With a high volume of ideas generated through outsourcing, it’s important to sort and organize.
If possible, gather a team and decide what ideas are worth pursuing. If you find yourself with too many options (a good problem to have!), create a shortlist of the ideas that stand out and resonate with you or your team.
Remember that as ideas are gathered, it’s important to focus on the submissions that you immediately like as opposed to providing direction to participants that missed the mark.
PRO TIP: A best practice for narrowing your list is to consolidate very similar ideas. This way, when you proceed with audience testing, similar ideas won’t corrupt your results.
3. Expect the unexpected.
The beauty of crowdsourcing is that you may receive ideas and feedback that were incredibly unexpected. Surrounding yourself with creative ideas will often spark your own imagination.
You may be so moved by new perspectives and thoughts, it can cause you to shift the direction of your brand strategy entirely.
Stress and time constraints can wreak havoc on creativity. If you have the time, take your time. Sometimes, the right brand strategy is the one that you have to look at a few times before embracing.
Be sure that you check in on the progress of your crowdsourcing project regularly. This will keep your crowd focused and on the right path. You don’t want to steer too far off course and never accomplish the goals you set to achieve.
4. Nurture ideas.
Some ideas begin as small seeds and need nurturing to blossom. One of the biggest benefits crowdsourcing has for brand strategy is the cultivating and nurturing of new ideas.
Crowdsourcing gives audiences a voice in regards to your brand. As you engage with participants and provide feedback, your dialogue will lead to more concepts and fresh outlooks.
The larger the talent pool the more discussions and brainstorming you will have around your brand. Whether your interaction comes in the form of direct comments or a rating system, it’s important to have an active presence in the process.
Transparency is key here. Although it is valuable to be positive and encouraging throughout the experience, be sure that your feedback is honest. Sugarcoating criticism will typically lead creatives in a false direction.
By fostering a culture of open communication, you will allow for greater innovation and creative concepts.
5. Building brand advocates.
When you proactively crowdsource, not only are you leveraging the knowledge of others, you’re exposing a new audience to your business or business idea.
Every creative you engage with is a potential customer or brand advocate. This is an excellent way to test the market and even build brand loyalty from the beginning.
It’s important to not just go with your “feelings” when developing your brand, you want to trust the feedback from the crowd. That is why audience testing is so important.
Audience testing is vital to the success of your brand strategy because it confirms that your brand will perform well with your target audience (or proves that it won’t).
Gaining an outside perspective helps prevent you from a brand strategy that will flop with your target customers.
Additionally, the process of crowdsourcing and audience testing adds to your brand’s personality and story. Customers are more likely to believe in and support a brand if other customers contributed to its development from the beginning.
Ready to use crowdsourcing as part of your marketing strategy?
Marketers and business owners are always looking to stand out from the competition. What better way to do that then to leverage a crowd.
Crowdsourcing is the often-affordable alternative to working with a traditional branding agency.
The infographic below highlights a good example of crowdsourcing as part of your marketing strategy — enlisting the crowd to help find a good company or startup name.
By equipping the crowdsourced creatives with a clear project brief, you eliminate the overhead costs of the traditional agencies that typically increase in price year over year.
Harnessing the power of a large creative community is an effective way to brainstorm that will ultimately lead to a truly unique and viable brand.
Editor’s note: This guest post comes from Grant Polachek of Squadhelp.com
About the Author
Grant Polachek is the Head of Branding at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the worlds #1 naming platform, with 25,000+ customers from early-stage startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation. Get inspired by exploring these winning business name ideas.