Product Development & Promotion Through Open Innovation

The modern day business scenario is characterized by fierce
competition, advanced and changing technologies and demanding consumers.
These are some of the factors that have made innovation a crucial
aspect for most companies. In today’s world, where knowledge is
accessible and widespread,enterprises still cannot completely rely only
on their own research. Organizations are gradually coming to terms with
this fact that irrespective of the company size certain creative inputs
and predictive insights can be found outside the enterprise’s physical
boundaries. Hence, most companies are willing to involve external
parties in their innovation practices. This process is termed as open
innovation.

In the recent past, crowdsourcing has been a popular
medium for open innovation. It has been used not only to give shape to
critical projects efficiently but also to arrive at solutions that
otherwise seemed impossible. The process has immensely influenced the
business scenario since its inception in 2006, when the term was coined
first by Jeff Howe in Wired Magazine. The process entails in presenting
an agenda to the mass at large and encouraging them to contribute with
their suggestions, ideas and inputs.

Recently, Nivea, Germany
the multinational skincare cosmetic brand utilized the crowdsourcing
technique for new product development. For this the brand wanted to make
use of consumer insights beyond generic market research. Going forward,
the brand effectively monitored hundred of social media websites in
various languages in order to understand the crowd feedback on
deodorants and their utilities. With the help of this social
intelligence and actionable insights the brand introduced Nivea’s
Invisible for Black and White, a revolutionary deodorant eradicating
stain issues and is available now in the retail outlets today.

Crowdsourcing
can be efficiently used as a medium of idea capture when backed by
rewards and incentives. Dove, the leading name in women’s skin care and
personal care products did something similar in order to promote its
products. The brand asserts that women using Dove moisturizing soap can
notice a remarkable difference in their skin tone in terms of evenness
and radiance. The company announced an open competition where women
using Dove soap can upload their pictures on the company website and can
win a chance to become the next Dove face. The objective here is to
enhance sales and induce the a “feel good factor” of being the face of a
leading personal care brand.

Most enterprises are reaping in
the positive impacts of crowdsourcing. However, the process has been
under the scanner for the few who view it in a sceptical manner. The
ones that have been constantly harnessing the power of open innovation,
ideation and crowdsourcing have realized that they can tap into the vast
talent pool and can attain their objectives within a set-time, budget
and in a creative way. The success to open innovation however is in the
fact that everyone irrespective of their background is capable of “out
of the box” thinking.