Need Innovation? Harness the Power of Crowd


The crowd holds colossal power and possess the ability to exert pressure. This has been realized since times immemorial. Meekness of kings, the victory of politicians, the fame of artists, sales chart of companies-all these are decided by the crowd.
But, can crowd be used for innovation?
This is answered by the concept of crowdsourcing. Let’s figure out how this is carried out.
Understanding the Term Crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining information or getting some tasks done via a large number of people. It can be paid or unpaid. Like most of the other things, crowdsourcing is practiced online today. This is done in order to make it more effective, efficient, and simple to manage. The power of the crowd can be realized from the fact that it’s the crowd that makes a product “hit” or a politician victorious.

A Quick Glance at Some Success Stories
Companies are now adapting to some new and innovative methods to harness the power that lies with the crowd. Below are some of the famous and successful examples.

1. The “White Cup” Campaign by Starbucks: This campaign encouraged people to decorate the white Starbucks cups and share the pictures on social media. The winner was awarded and the design was printed on a limited edition of the Starbucks reusable plastic cup.

2. “Do Us A Flavor” Campaign by Lay’s Chips Company: This campaign encouraged people to create new flavors and share them online. People from all over the world voted for these flavors and the winner was awarded. This campaign also gave Lay’s three new flavors which became hugely popular.

3. Greenpeace’s “Save the Arctic” Campaign: It was also called the “Let’s Go” Campaign. It urged people to come up with controversial and sarcastic quotes against the Shell Oil-Drilling Company which intended to take advantage of the melting Arctic to drill for oil in that area. That would have destroyed the home to 4 million people and several wildlife creatures. More than 133,000 people stood up for the campaign and successfully saved the Arctic.

4. “Airbnb Sorts” Campaign: This campaign was launched by Airbnb to connect people with unique travel experiences. It provided a platform where people can know about the place they were going to visit as it allowed the hosts to share pictures of their homeland.

5. Samsung: Samsung has used this strategy better than any other brand. It partnered with a product development platform called Marbler. It then launched the world’s largest crowdsourcing service. This service is named as “The Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center” (SSIC). It is a global hub for startups, technology, and product via crowdsourcing. This platform allows the public to show their skills and also offer them monetary rewards.
Not Every Company is Using Crowdsourcing: Here is the Reason
Although there is an increase in the number of success stories, only a few companies are able to make the correct use of the immense potential of the crowd. It’s actually natural because welcoming the group of strangers to their work zone may seem a little risky to companies that earlier revolved around internal innovation. But not utilizing the power of the crowd for advantage can be a huge opportunity cost. If your company doesn’t put the crowd to good use, your competitors can always do that.
A well-coordinated and well-functioning crowd can be a fine and valuable asset to the company. It can be put to various uses like innovation and problem-solving. This is because the crowd is a diverse group of people with varied skills, experiences, talents, and perspectives. A problem existing from a long time can be solved in no time with the help of crowdsourcing. This point is equally applicable to creating and mapping new and innovative products and services as shown in the examples mentioned above. It can also be applied to build customer contacts and to collect data.

Crowdsourcing is a powerful tool that has the capability to change the picture of the world. It’s being used widely today and is slowly making its way towards the big global change. However, this has to be used smartly and judicially. When used smartly, it is an elevator for any company to reach to the top amongst all its competitors.

Written by - Neha Kundu
Edited by - Maryam Salim

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