Harmonie's Look on Fashion

Posts Tagged ‘Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is a word used to define creative concepts and processes where people outside the company are in charge of the design of the products of a given company. The trend consulting company Nelly Rodi even mentioned Crowdsourcing as one of the main trend of 2010.

Let’s take the example of Threadless t-shirts, a company that use crowdsourcing to get designs to print on tee shirts but also totes, reusable water bottles and all kind of diverse products.

The concept of Threadless is to get designs from people everywhere in the world. Those designs are submitted to votes through their website and the best designs are printed on the company’s products.

http://www.threadless.com/submit

1: Design submission.

They manage to make it very easy to submit a design. A template is provided as well as clear explanations of expectations, printing techniques available and reasons for decline. There is an appealing range of techniques that can be included in the design: glow-in-the-dark ink, suede ink, metallic ink, embroidery…

This is definitely exciting for every designers to be! Even if you don’t feel like designing a print, you can submit a slogan/title that may inspire a design and from which you could be remunerated too.

2: Design score.

Designs are reviewed by the Threadless team and then submitted to score by the Threadless community during 7 days. Best designs can be scored by more than 800 people and designs with lower than 2.5 out of 5 are not likely to be printed. Scores and comments help the Threadless team to choose which designs to print.

3: The printed designers are remunerated:

The designers whose ideas are selected will receive $2000 in cash + $500 in gift certificate + $500 each time the design is reprinted.

http://www.threadless.com/product

http://www.threadless.com/product

http://www.threadless.com/product

http://www.threadless.com/product

This is more or less the concept of Threadless Tshirts.

Now let’s see this implications of crowdsourcing on a creative and business standpoints.

On a creative standpoint, crowdsourcing is a way to get a huge pool of designs from everywhere in the world. Design is no longer taken care of by a single design department. It is quite easy to get infinite aesthetic standpoints and revitalization is continuous. The bigger the community, the higher the chance to attract talented designers that would submit awesome designs. Design selection is not only done by one of the company’s department but also by people from the community (potential tee shirt buyers) who will score and comment the design.

On a business standpoint, crowdsourcing enables a company to be sure that its products will sell well and therefore limit risks. Indeed you let your customers decide which products they want to buy from you! It could also be easier to plan quantities based on feedback from people in the community. Customer loyalty is enhanced since customer themselves can take part in the design/scoring phase. Lastly, this methodology is a less expensive and much more variable way of getting designs than having a whole design department working together all year long. The advantages of free-lance without having to rely on only a couple of free-lance designers.

As a general rule, letting customer participates in the design of its products is becoming more and more popular with the example of crowdsourcing but also new levels of customization as for instance with the company Shoes of Prey where customers can personalize their shoes on many different aspects. Customer participation is definitely a trend for 2011.

I am curious to see if anyone of you knows other examples of crowdsourcing or some insights to share about customer participation. Please leave a comment!

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