Tapping the Community
My thanks to colleague Barry Pruett for passing this one along to me. This ZDNet article shows how one company turned a trade show booth into a community idea generator. Brilliant! How much time is spent every year staffing booths at trade shows, handing out freebies to every bag-toting attendee, with no tangible results? It's not like every company's product focus lends itself to this sort of opportunity, but it could work quite well in some cases.
I chuckled a couple of times while reading this though. First, while the combo wallet and video iPod holder is rather novel, you could suffer even more thanks to this sort of "convergence": Losing your wallet is one thing, but wouldn't it stink if that also meant you just lost your video iPod as well?
Secondly, this company isn't paying community members for their ideas; they'll just "get credit on all of the product marketing materials, packaging and signs." I'm not sure I'd be willing to give up my million dollar idea just so that my name could appear on some packaging...
Oh, yeah--I hate giving away those million-dollar ideas, too!
But this is a good example of community collaboration, and in realtime. Corporations shy away from this sort of thing (ideas from consumers) for fear of claims.
Maybe some outfits--P&G for example--should hold a "National Idea Day" or do as Mophie did, at a trade show or consumer exhibition. The big-brand companies spend a lot of time and money mining sources like consumer surveys and the Web for ideas. Why not just bring it out in the open?
Posted by: Michael A. Banks | January 18, 2007 at 11:55 PM
Yes, it will be interesting to see if this concept takes off. I suspect there are just way too many organizations out there that feel they know how to build a product better than their customers do...
Posted by: Joe Wikert | January 19, 2007 at 08:16 PM