The Betterific Blog

Connecting consumers with brands to crowdsource and innovate on product ideas.

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Private Innovation Challenge Goes Live

Betterific is a platform that connects brands with consumers to co-create and refine new products.  It is a place where Innovation Happens.  Our mission is to spread the crowdsourcing gospel, so we work with all types of brands, with different levels of regulations and comfortability with utilizing the crowd.  We certainly don’t want to restrict their ability to tap into Betterific’s open and social crowd.

Which is why we’ve created three different ways to tap into the Betterific brain trust. No matter the method, Betterific is committed to open and social brainstorming, so no matter what type of challenge we create, members who participate can submit their own ideas, be inspired by other’s ideas, and vote on comment on others.

Public and Open Innovation Challenges: The brand runs an open challenge on the Betterific platform, all are invited to participate.  The brand name is revealed so members can get into the mindset of the brand to generate ideas.  This generally yields the most ideas.  Example: The Sterilite Mobility Challenge

Anonymous and Open Innovation Challenges: Same as above, but the brand is left anonymous.  This is an option for companies who want a level of confidentiality.  Example: The Lipstick Challenge

Private and Closed Innovation Challenges: Only members who are invited in can participate, the brand is not revealed, and the ideas are hidden to anyone not invited in. Members are generally asked to sign an additional NDA and companies reveal even more information.  This is a great option for projects that are highly confidential and/or that are revealing pre-released information. Example: We can’t link to one, so we explain it below.

A private and closed innovation challenge called “Name that Nutrition Bar” was just launched where a CPG company turned to the Betterific community to name their product.  In the safe space of the private challenge and with a special NDA, the brand revealed the packaging and marketing materials.  Because of the exclusive appeal of the challenge, and the unique access, Betterific members submitted 500 names!


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Interview with an Innovator: Luc Michaud

Betterific members are a diverse crowd – gender, age, location and occupation…  We like to maintain this diversity to allow for cross pollination.  One of our core beliefs is that great ideas come from people with different perspectives, outlooks and specialties.  Which is why crowdsourcing is so critical.

Luc Michaud brings a unique voice as a pharmacist.  He’s won a number of innovation competitions and won the grand prize of the Singularity Civic Engagement Innovation Challenge.   His approach to the innovation challenges is very methodical and we’re glad that he gave us a window into his systematic process – he goes through a litany of questions to see how to make the product simpler, more social, more fun… See below for the full list.  He’s also got great ideas on how to improve Betterific – and his desire for “private challenges” was just realized in our Name that Nutrition Bar private challenge.



MW: What do you do when you’re not brainstorming on Betterific? Luc Michaud (LM): I work as a full-time pharmacist, I like to spend time with family (I’m married and have 2 teenage girls and one beagle), reading, and writing my first book.

MW: Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t know from your resume. LM: I am a part-time minister

MW: What books do you recommend on ideation, creativity or innovation? LM: Cracking Creativity: The secrets of creative genius by Michael Michalko

MW: What BIG idea are you thinking about/sitting on?  LM: I have this idea for a phone case that would make your phone able to take pictures while the phone is horizontal. Sometimes, you don’t want to make it obvious that you’re taking a picture.

MW: When you get an invitation to join a Betterific innovation challenge, how do you approach the challenge?  LM: I look at what we value most and brainstorm as to how to improve these different aspects with this challenge:
How could we save money?
How could we save time?
How could we decrease hassle?
How could we make this more social?
How could we make it more fun?
How could we make it more aesthetically pleasing?
How could we make it more environmentally friendly?
How could we make it more family-friendly?

MW: What have you enjoyed most about the Betterific platform? LM:  I like the Betterific challenge because it helps me focus on how to improve one specific product.  I like being part of a group that values creativity. Creativity is so important and I love reading how others were able to think outside the box.

MW: If you were CEO for a day, what would you improve about the platform? LM:
– I would make it easier to read the different ideas posted. I would have an “editor’s choice” for the week as to what ideas were the best according to the Betterific team. I would also give the ability to subscribe to certain topics that we’re particularly interested in. The tags are good, but sometimes too narrow.
– I really like the challenges, but I would also like to see some collaboration. Why not put both of those together? How about a national competition where different teams would compete against each other?
– It would be good to have one Betterific Challenge every week. What if the weeks that there are no sponsors, non-profits would be allowed to post a challenge and the prize for these would be bragging rights?
– Allow private (by invitation only) Betterific challenges? Some sponsors would rather keep the ideas confidential to protect the idea
– Create an app or website or game to get children involved with Betterific. Kids are the most creative!
I guess I’s need more than one day as CEO to implement all these!

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Winners of the Sterilite Mobility Innovation Challenge Announced!

Sterilite’s Mobility Innovation Challenge was a really fantastic example of the Betterific community’s ability to generate quality ideas, beyond the brand’s wildest dreams.

When Sterilite initially reached out to us, they were looking at asking a narrow challenge, with not a whole lot of room for creativity. In our initial discussions–with all brands–we like to get to the heart of the challenge.  What types of innovations are you looking for?  What does a great idea look like?  Why are you pursuing this specific challenge?  When we dug deeper, we realized that the heart of the challenge centered around mobility and how to make storage easier to move around and less clunky.  So that’s where we focused our attention – we pulled back and took a bit of a more birds eye view.  And the results were fantastic.

Because we were able to “zoom out” the ideas were unique and unexpected.  Seven of the concepts are being looked at further and are entering the product development process.

We’d like to give a quick shout out to our winners of the challenge.  Grand prize winner: Steve Wood.  Runner Ups: Marla Goodman, Dan Pick, Matt Kustes and Ronald Williams.

Big Congrats.  And see you on the next Betterific Innovation challenge!