Crowdsourcing is the extremely popular method often using a global community to gather information, reaction and collective intelligence on new ideas/concepts/inventions/business models. Then using a crowdfunding platform, creators can then pitch their new venture to potential donators/funders in the hope of gaining monetary backing while also raising awareness.
But how does this apply to your business?
There are a wealth of crowdsourcing platforms which can provide constructive feedback on your idea and has proved invaluable to many corporations, start-ups and creative thinkers to develop their business model or idea.
A recent example of crowdsourcing includes the Malaysian government’s #Bajet2014 campaign. #Bajet2014 invited the Malaysian public to contribute ideas on how the country’s budget should be spent and what they value as most important. This is an impressive use of crowdsourcing from the Malaysian government showing their public that majority views are valued and listened to while also gaining invaluable intelligence and encouraging political popularity.
What this means for your brand:
Start-ups-small businesses: Gain insight into how your initial business model/idea will be received by your target audience. Embrace development ideas and constructive criticism from your ‘crowd’ to enhance your future strategy and offering. Crowdsourcing also increases brand awareness to an audience you may not have reached before.
Middle-large corporations: Use crowdsourcing as a means of self improvement if your business/product seems to be lagging/slowing down or even used as a way to build upon previous/current success. How can you change/reinvent/develop further/expand your offering? Use this as a testing ground for new ideas/initiatives. Crowdsourcing also gives personality to a business, showing you care about how people are reacting to new ideas/products and encourages interaction on social media.
Crowdfunding is the next step from Crowdsourcing. If you have your business model/idea/new technology set in place and you now need to outsource funding to get if off the ground, Crowdfunding is the right place for you.
The home-run brewery, Ten Sleep Brewing from Wyoming is a great current example. The family run business is looking for funding and pitched their ethos and strategy with great personality and passion for what they do. They have currently raised just over $10k, around half of the target goal with 8 days left to go. Even if people can’t donate, awareness can be shared on all social media platforms to encourage other potential donators.
A funding pitch for mobile phone based microscope technology provides a more successful example with 1649% of the target goal already funded with one more day still to go.
Celebrity founded crowdfunding for films is a topic highlighted in the press recently causing controversy as to why wealthy actors are calling for their fans to fund their next film. But surely if no one is being made to donate, what’s the problem here? More independent films and short movies may now be created to give an alternative to big budget comic book remake blockbusters thus increasing the variety of genres.
What this means for your brand:
Start-ups-small businesses: Primarily set up for start-ups and non-profit organisations, this is the perfect place to gain initial funding for your start-up. Remember to portray personality into your pitch and show enthusiasm for what you do and explain how this idea will contribute to the greater industry whether that is remodelling ethics or how the new technology will enhance day-to-day life. Non-profit businesses prove most popular so if you are a successful start-up for example, like creative web design agency Damteq Solutions, you could perhaps ask for crowdfunding for a localised mentoring scheme for young creative professionals. You’ll be giving back to the community as well as raising brand awareness.
If this sounds interesting and you want to know more, there is the NYC Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding Conference event being held this September 2013, find out more here.