The Betterific Blog

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


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Betterific Business (explained) and New Features!

Hi lovers of innovation, ideation and imagination:

At Betterific we’re firing on all cylinders–pushing the envelope of how we can crowdsource innovation.  So what do we work on, on a daily basis?

The Betterific memberbase: Keeping our members engaged–thru weekly emails, innovation challenges, and overall great content.

The Betterific website: What new features should we be adding to make our members happy?  What new features should we be creating to connect our members with brands?  What new features can we create to help make the product development process easier more efficient, more social, and more fun?

Bringing brands on board: We work hard to bring brands like: Target, World Kitchen, Vitamin Water, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, ConAgra, Arby’s, the Washington Nationals, the Washington Wizards, 16 handles…and others onto our platform to host innovation challenges and get ideas through the product development process–from ideation, to evaluation.

Building out our private label Betterific for internal innovation: A year and a half after building out Betterific.com large Fortune 500 brands approached us, asking if they could bring our style of crowdsourcing innovation to their employees.  Repurpose Betterific for their internal use, so employees can connect with managers across the organziation.  This helps flatten the hierarchy, encourages innovation, and helps the C suite get a better understanding of what’s happening down the line.  We’ve deployed a number of our internal employee innovation programs, and they have been tremendously successful.  Saving companies millions of dollars, engaging employees, and inspiring new innovative products and services.

Now, back to the purpose of this post.  New features on Betterific.com!

-Comment editing: We launched the ability to edit your own comments!

The Evaluation zone: Following Target’s overwhelming productive “Dorm Room Innovation Challenge” they asked us to help conceive of a product where they could bring their favorite ideas back out to the community to evaluate them.  We then created the Evaluation zone, a private room for our members to rate, vote, and comment on their favorite concepts.  Target mocked up their favorite ideas (as suggested by our memberbase) and revealed their creations in this room.  It’s a very exciting evolution of Betterific.com – in addition to helping to source  the ideas, we can now help evaluate them as well.Cooler-ottoman

That’s all for now, folks.  Thanks again for joining Betterific, and making it the community that it is today.

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The Weekly Top Ten Betterific Ideas

We’ve been a little busy at Betterific this past week, so we’re running a little behind on a few things, one of which is the Weekly Top Ten Ideas from this past week (May 5th). But we certainly didn’t want to skip any of these fantastic and unique ideas. Stay tuned for more great ideas and upcoming campaigns!

Wouldn't it be better if #GoogleMaps and #Waze had a way to mark a route impassable during a weather emergency?

Wouldn't it be better if phone makers developed technology that allowed you to have two phones near each other sync up when playing a song, so that you can get a louder speaker effect?

Wouldn't it be better if the Nats used a t-shirt cannon, instead of just throwing the t-shirts. And style it like a Revolutionary War cannon, let George fire it!

Wouldn't it be better if subways provided hand sanitizer dispensers (government provided or private sector provided) while exiting the train station?

Wouldn't it be better if using Netflix, you can socially share a movie or TV show directly with friends via email, Facebook, or Twitter after viewing?

Wouldn't it be better if Seamless Delivery offered free refrigerator shelf labels for roommates to split up their fridge. If they were branded Seamless, I would be reminded to just order dinner instead of just looking at my fridge.

Wouldn't it be better if rechargeable batteries could tell you when they just can't hold a charge anymore?

Wouldn't it be better if there were an appliance that could be placed in a toilet that analyzed the contents of one's poop and pee and sent the results to one's cellphone or otherwise displayed the results.

Wouldn't it be better if curbside recycling bins had little baskets you could hook on for disposing of batteries and prescription medication.Wouldn't it be better if Starbucks (or any coffee/fast casual shop) gave discounts to people who came into their locations with their bike helmets, during national bike to work day (5/16/2014)!

Happy innovating!


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16 Handles Betterific Challenge – Winners Announced!

Um, that looks delicious...  (Image by Justine on the blog Hoboken Girl)

Um, that looks delicious… (Image by Justine on the blog Hoboken Girl)

Betterific has had a busy April, running both the 16 Handles and Coke/McDonald’s Challenges, not to mention the current Washington Nationals campaign that has been running since April 25th and will end on May 5th, 2014 at 3pm (there’s still time to give the Nats your best ideas)! Needless to say, the Betterific team really enjoyed working with 16 Handles on their customer experience campaign. We had a great time talking with their team during the set-up of the campaign and we are excited to help such a young and inspiring new company, headed by their amazing CEO Solomon Choi. We also hope to follow-up with 16 Handles several weeks from now to do a case study on their campaign, find out what worked for them and what didn’t and to come up with a better idea of best practices to implement when companies crowdsource for product development and marketing. While we always enjoy the process of seeing what ideas come about when people start brainstorming for companies, coming up with new and creative ways for making the frozen yogurt experience better was certainly a lot of fun and it’s a good thing frozen yogurt is healthy because there were definitely some serious cravings happening as a result of intense fro-yo idea generation.

Now, back to the winners! The campaign ran from April 8th to April 18th during which time Betterific members were able to post their ideas on the site for how to make the 16 Handles customer experience better.  111 ideas were submitted with the top themes identified in creative marketing, special events, community involvement, new products and fro-yo accessories. The grand prize winner would receive free frozen yogurt for a year and 5 runner-up winners would each receive a $25 16 Handles gift card. In addition, all winners were to be given the chance to meet face-to-face with CEO Solomon Choi to discuss their ideas and their passion for frozen yogurt.

Our grand prize winner was Sara Levin and our 5 runner-up winners were Luke Bornheimer, Tovah Silbermann, Ashley Smith, Ari Polsky, and Diane Lipson. Below are a few of our favorite ideas posted by the winners. (Please note that these ideas are not necessarily the ideas that were selected by 16 Handles for implementation.)

Wouldn't it be better if 16 Handles sold reusable plastic cups that you could buy then reuse at the store and get a discount.

Wouldn't it be better if 16 Handles had a blending machine that allowed customers to blend their yogurt and toppings into a Blizzard-type concoction?

Wouldn't it be better if 16 Handles had suggested recipe guides by the fro-yo counter (Example: S'mores Ice Cream Cup -Graham Cracker Yogurt, topped with hot fudge and marshmallows).

Wouldn't it be better if 16 Handles had a froyo sandwich (ice cream sandwich) station

Wouldn't it be better if 16 Handles had a starbucks style membership system/gold card.

Wouldn't it be better if 16 Handles sold thin pieces of chocolate that could serve as cup dividers so your flavors don't mix together?

Ok, we’re going to get some fro-yo… Happy innovating!


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The Coke/McDonald’s Challenge on Betterific – Winners Announced!

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The winners of Betterific’s Coke/McDonald’s Challenge have been announced! The competition was fierce and all the ideas were amazing. We honestly have to say this was one of the best challenges we’ve run on Betterific and we are very happy with the results. Just to recap, Betterific members were asked to brainstorm innovative and creative ways to make the Coca-Cola experience at McDonald’s better. From April 8th to April 18th Betterific members posted their ideas on new products, new services, and interesting marketing campaigns. One grand prize winner was to be selected for a $500 gift card and 5 runner-up winners would each receive a  $50 McDonald’s gift card.

Over the course of 10 days, 125 ideas were submitted (35% of which were shared to Facebook and Twitter). Several themes were identified amongst all the ideas that were submitted including: new menu inspirations, beverage accessories, healthy options, vintage experiences, loyalty and customization.

Our grand prize winner was Metro Power Yoga (she’s got 260 lifetime betterifs!), and our 5 runner-up winners were Ann Murtha, Benjamin Shirazi, Tony Busko, Kelly Williams, and Jordy Clements.

Here a few of the ideas that we liked which our various winners posted during the challenge. (Please note that these ideas are not necessarily those ideas that were selected by Coke or McDonald’s for implementation.)

Wouldn't it be better if you could make your own coke infusions at McDonald's when you ordered a coke by adding syrups like almond or raspberry or coconut...

Wouldn't it be better if Coca-cola/McDonald's had frozen coca-cola (and Diet Coke and Cherry Coke) during the summer?

Wouldn't it be better if Coke/McDonald's had incentives to recycle or reuse your cup. $.50 refills.Wouldn't it be better if Coca-cola/McDonald's came out with a slow-cooked Cola-Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich? With or without coleslaw on top! Delicious summertime fun!

Wouldn't it be better if Coke would use pure cane sugar and avoidusing high fructose corn syrup in their drinks.

Wouldn't it be better if McDonald's offered a healthy value meal that paired a salad with Coca-Cola's Odwalla juices.

Thanks to all our Betterific members for being such great innovators!


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Wizards Betterific Fan Experience Contest Winners Announced!

We are happy to announce yet another successful close to a campaign on Betterific! Members of the site were asked to brainstorm innovative and creative ways to make the Wizards fan experience better by posting ideas on marketing, promotions, concessions, in-game entertainment and more. Betterific members had one week to post as many ideas as possible in order to be considered for a prize. At the end of the contest, the Wizards would consider all ideas that were submitted and select 5 winners who would receive tickets to a Wizards game. We had a lot of fun running the Wizards fan experience challenge on our site and here are the overall results:

136 ideas total were submitted

30% of the ideas were shared on facebook/twitter

Top themes: Vintage Bullets experience, in-game promotions on social media, new food items and concessions, technology integration, activating the fan base

The winners, who were chosen by the Wizards based on the overall creativity of their ideas, were: George Roche, Arthur Reinaltt, Rachel Sternstein, Jefferi, and Jammal Matthews. Below is a random sample of some of the ideas from our winners that were posted. (Please note that these ideas were not necessarily the ideas that were chosen by the Wizards for implementation.)

Wouldn't it be better if the Wizards promoted to young professionals already downtown with day-of "happy hour" tickets that go on sale an hour before game time at a reduced price. This could also generate a decent sized crowd around the Verizon Center for extra fan festivities.

Wouldn't it be better if the Wizards gave out different color t-shirts for the different seating levels, to make a red, white and blue stadium! 100 level with blue t-shirts, 200 level with white and 400 level with red?  It screams DC.

Wouldn't it be better if the Wizards had jumbo slices at the Verizon Center

Wouldn't it be better if the Verizon Center created local food nights where pop up vendors for specific games were features (i.e., bus boys and poets, dc brau, dolcezza, etc.?)

Wouldn't it be better if the Verizon Center had a play area for for children with wizards/magical things for when some kids get bored with the game?

 


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Evolution in Business and “Digital Darwinism” – Why your company needs innovation to survive

It seems like all you hear these days are stories about “how business is changing.” Brian Solis, the principal analyst at the Altimeter Group, coined the phrase “digital darwinism” to capture the essence of change in the business world today. Business has always been about finding better ways to do things, but technology has created new opportunities as well as challenges for business. The term “digital darwinism” refers to the fact that today’s society and technology is changing faster than most businesses’ ability to adapt. Even the companies with the “big guns” have had trouble coping.

Evolution in business seems to be favoring those who take a leadership role and who place themselves at the forefront of change by leading the charge into new territory for what business can do. Of course, in the long run we have no idea what this will mean, but in the now, we know that today’s company needs to be smart, proactive and courageous when it comes to pushing the boundaries of what they do and how they do it. We’ve seen quite a few giants fall in recent years because they failed to identify ways of recreating and evolving the way we do things. It’s easy to just “blame the internet,” for the downfall of many businesses but it’s more than just that. Blockbuster, Kodak and Borders are all perfect examples of companies who had great management teams and lots of expertise/connections in their respective industries, but they all fell prey to the fact that they refused to recognize the relevance of change and how they could ultimately profit from it.

In life and in business, you really can’t afford to sit on your hands. Just as in our own personal lives we need to have a certain amount of daring to progress. If we don’t progress, we risk losing relevance. So how do you foster that progress as a business? How do you harness daring or find a way to stay on top of things such that you are the one creating the change that the rest of the world embraces? At Betterific, we attempt to help companies make good use of crowdsourcing as a tool to help foster the innovation and creativity needed to inspire changes in the way things are done. But even with new tools, most companies still have a long way to go when it comes to figuring out how to best capitalize on that innovation. Ideas are always floating around, but you need to have a plan on how to capture those ideas, leverage them efficiently and then turn them into profits, if you really intend to thrive.

Brian Solis makes a living helping companies figure out ways to foster innovation and then implement change. We thought we would share Brian Solis’ “12 Pillars of Innovation” here because they provide something of a roadmap and an explanation regarding the overall system that needs to be set-up in order to capitalize on innovation and change. Click on the infographic below to see a full explanation of each of the pillars.

In our own words though, when it comes to creating a system within your company that will allow you to be more innovative you start here:

Decide what parts of your business could benefit from new ideas and new ways of doing things

Assign someone or a group the role of overseeing and implementing any project(s) aimed at increasing innovation

Identify the best tools to help you accomplish your goals and experiment with them

Evaluate outcomes and adjust your projects and goals accordingly

There are certainly a number of ways to encourage innovation and each company will have different methods and needs to be addressed. The objective is to become the sort of company that knows how to implement the changes needed not only to be more innovative, but to benefit from the innovation. Brian Solis definitely gives a number of ways in which companies can do this including “reverse-mentoring” and work time to allow for creative thinking sessions. We strongly suggest you read through his article. Happy innovating!

 


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Top Ten Ideas of the Week! Microsoft, Starbucks, Google and Instagram look out!

Coca Cola and McDonald's Betterific Crowdsourcing Campaign Image

16 Handles Betterific Crowdsourcing Campaign ImageThe past few weeks Betterific has been running some great campaigns on the site, including 16 Handles Fro-yo, Coca-cola and McDonald’s. We love combing through all the ideas to see what things people are posting, which is why we take such great pride in our top ten ideas of the week announcements. Below is a list of those ideas that we’ve most enjoyed recently. Oh, and would you believe that there is actually a “Morgan Freeman” betterifs page? Well, there is!

 

Stay tuned for more!

 

Wouldn't it be better if all coffee shops made their ice with coffee instead of water so when they make their iced drinks they don't get watered down.

Wouldn't it be better if when an email bounces back, there is an immediate option to correct email address and resend the same text

Wouldn't it be better if Instagram allowed to create albums for grouping pictures around different types of events and exeperiences!

Wouldn't it be better if there were an ocean version of a Safari. Deep in the sea, so you could interact with the mammals and fish in their natural habitat.

Wouldn't it be better if 16 Handles let customers guess the weight of their concoctions at the register, and if they guessed correctly, their fro-yo were free!?

Wouldn't it be better if Coca-Cola/McDonald's made a kid's cup that included a scratch panel so the kids could put their names or other mark on their drinks and know who's was who's after they'd been running around for 20 minutes.

Wouldn't it be better if you could click on the heading of a Word document to quickly rename it.

Wouldn't it be better if the NY subway didn't use the exact same noise for "enter" as it used for "swipe again".

Wouldn't it be better if you could subscribe to an email service to provide brief daily summaries of favorite television shows.

Wouldn't it be better if there was Morgan Freeman voice changer. It'd be great to use these in presentations. Maybe an app?