The Betterific Blog

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

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How to Crowdsource Effectively for Your Company

There is a lot of information on crowdsourcing and also quite a few examples of who’s done it. In today’s blog post, Betterific would like to share three articles that are particularly insightful regarding the value of crowdsourcing and how best to manage it.

1) 3-real world tips to get your crowdsourcing on – by Jane Park for

3 Real World Tips to Get Your Crowdsourcing On

Ms. Jane Park is a former executive from Starbucks who has since founded her own beauty products business. If you’ve read any of our previous posts, you’ll know that Starbuck’s has had huge success with their own crowdsourcing platform MyStarbucksIdea. Ms. Park’s new business, Julep, uses crowdsourcing for product development. “For many companies, crowdsourcing is most valuable for product development and marketing–two areas where customer feedback is worth its weight in gold. At Julep, we’ve integrated the wisdom of the crowds directly into the product development process, creating over 300 new beauty products in 2013 alone based almost entirely on customer feedback,” writes Ms. Park.

The three tips this veteran maven gives are:

Go all in.

Pick one or two focus areas.

Ask the right question.

This is a fantastic article, so please do read it for Ms. Park’s full advice if you’re tentatively exploring crowdsourcing as a tool for your own product development or marketing campaigns.

2) B2B Crowdsourcing: Product development effort boosts sales by 17% and new product sales 37% – by David Kirkpatrick for

Marketing Sherpa is a research institute specializing in tracking what works in all aspects of marketing

This article is in fact a case study published by Marketing Sherpa, a research institute specializing in tracking what works in all aspects of marketing. We find this case study particularly interesting because it focuses on a B2B company, Madison Electric Products, in a particularly un-glamorous industry – electrical products for electricians.

Here’s a short tid-bit from the article:

“Fisher said the team was coming up with ideas to provide value in the industry, and understood adding new products that electricians would find useful would be a powerful marketing tool. ‘We could spend months and months trying to dream up ideas, going through prototyping and focus groups,’ said Fisher. ‘We decided that we wanted to crowdsource our new product development through our social channels.’ This effort accomplished a couple of goals: – Shortened the product development lifecycle, – Created new products that were validated by Madison’s customers because they were designed by the customers.”

The highlights from this case study:

Crowdsource new product development.

Keep the process simple.

Promote the effort through social channels.

Promote the online portal through multiple channels (not just digital).

Utilize innovative channels to become an industry thought leader.

This too is a fantastic example of how a company can draw huge benefits from crowdsourcing in an effective and organized way. Be sure to read this article because Madison saw big increases in their sales as a result of these efforts.

3) 3 Retail Crowdsourcing Tips to Increase Participation – by Retail Category Consultants, 

3 Retail Crowdsourcing Tips to Increase Participation

This article is written by Retail Category Consultants, a Canadian retail consultancy firm with clients across North America in the grocery, specialty, department store and drug segments. Here again you’ll find some good insight into how to run a successful crowdsourcing campaign.

What should you do according to this article?

Use existing customers first. 

Let Participants know they matter. 

Promote through PR communications to maximize audience reach.

Be sure to read through these articles carefully and prepare a plan on how to effectively utilize this fantastic marketing and product development tool. On behalf of the Betterific crowdsourcing happy community, thanks for reading and happy innovating!

Written by Gwen Gurley

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Betterific’s Top Ten Weekly Ideas

Here’s a quick look at the top ten weekly ideas from this past week. As you’ll see, a lot of the ideas we’ve decided to feature are very imaginative 🙂Wouldn't it be better if companies sold packages of ONE flavor (e.g. bag of red skittles, package of orange Starbursts, bag of white jellybeans?)

Wouldn't it be better if Facebook had a "Spoiler Report" option, similar to spam except it turns comments/posts into "This may be a spoiler. Click to Reveal," if a few people report it.

Wouldn't it be better if while in the waiting room at a doctor's office one nurse tested everyone for the prerequisite testings such as blood pressure and weight etc. This would alleviate hours of wasted time of staff and patients throughout the day.

Wouldn't it be better if there were an additive you could put into mop water that remains visible until a bit after it dries, so that you could see where you have mopped and where you have not

Wouldn't it be better if McDonald's had cups you could write on , with some markers at the "beverage bar" for you to get artistic with

Wouldn't it be better if the Southwest Airlines site allowed you to search for flights to/from all NYC area airports in one search as most other airlines do. Currently you can only search by individual airport.

Wouldn't it be better if you could prioritize your wedding registry list, so that people knew what you wanted NOW!

Wouldn't it be better if containers of gummy vitamins had a super wide opening so that you could reach the last ones stuck to the bottom?

Wouldn't it be better if gchat used the same spellcheck tool that google search does? (i.e. my google search always knows what word I want to spell, but I constantly baffle gcaht)

Wouldn't it be better if Twitter would allow you to sort your lists alphabetically instead of when the list was made


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NYC Froyo Shop 16 Handles partners with Betterific to Crowdsource Deliciousness

16 Handles Frozen Yogurt Site Snapshot

Get in on the action with the latest campaign on!

We are happy to announce that Betterific has once again partnered with a fantastic company to help them crowdsource ideas for their business and engage with their customers.  New York City based 16 Handles is giving crowdsourcing a go and will be running their campaign on Betterific’s site from April 10th to April 18th. A grand prize winner, who will be selected by 16 Handles, will receive free frozen yogurt for a year. 5 runner-up winners will receive $25 gift cards and all winners will have the opportunity to meet with the CEO and founder of 16 Handles, Solomon Choi, to discuss their ideas.

16 Handles is no stranger to trying new things when it comes to reaching out to their customers. In January of last year they received quite a lot of press with write-ups in Adage, Socialfresh, Suazmopolitan, and YFSmagazine  (to name a few) because they were the first company ever to use Snapchat for advertising and marketing purposes. We are very excited to be working with such a great company that so many people love. Here’s a snapshot of some of the ideas people have already posted:

Wouldn't it be better if 16 Handles had a mobile app that let you pay, earn points, and other fun things!Wouldn't it be better if sixteen handles also sold shakes where you could choose to fill up a cup of frozen yogurt and then have it mixed up into a shake.

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

Wouldn't it be better if 16 Handles had cup dividers so we could sample zillions of delicious flavors in one cup?!

Happy innovating!

Written by Gwen Gurley

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Betterific’s top ten weekly ideas – Listen up Whole Foods, Foursquare, Kickstarter, and UPS!

So many things have been happening in the Betterific world these last few weeks and we’ve been desperately trying to keep up with the whirlwind of activity. We are happy to report that we have a lot of campaigns with fantastic brands in the pipeline and we’ve been gaining new users every day. We love it when people get creative and great ideas get some attention, which is why we’re posting this past week’s top ten ideas! There are some fantastic ideas floating around on the site and we want them to get as much attention as possible. Take a gander below, visit the site to vote on them, and post a few of your own if you haven’t already!

P.S. This week we launched a new campaign with frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles on the site! If you like the idea of winning 1 year of free frozen yogurt or a $25 gift card and the chance to talk with the chain’s CEO and founder about your ideas, go to the site and let 16 Handles know how you would make the frozen yogurt experience even better!

Wouldn't it be better if Kickstarter added a store section to their website, for all the funded projects.

Wouldn't it be better if sinks had two plugs - one for perfectly usable "grey water" (eg that which is wasted while waiting for water to heat up) and one for the dirty stuff

Wouldn't it be better if fans could invest in an old show to bring it back to life?

Wouldn't it be better if there were handyman or contractor companies that you could hire to assist you with projects, so that they could teach you how to do the project while completing it AND it should cut down on your costs because you are providing labor.

Wouldn't it be better if there were acoustical paint such that you could add a coat and it would remain flat on the wall but have properties in it that would absorb sounds so a room with a lot of "cold," hard, flat surfaces would not become and echo chamber?

Wouldn't it be better if building/house recycling bins would have stickers showing what types of plastic are recyclable in your area? (as some districts are unable to recycle type 6 etc.)

Wouldn't it be better if Whole Foods hot and cold bar offered section divided to-go trays for when you're craving various food types and don't want to mix them together?

Wouldn't it be better if Foursquare would remember the person you last checked in with, so that when you spend the day together you don't have to keep finding them over and over again?

Wouldn't it be better if car trunks had built in refrigerators for transporting groceries or could be filled with ice and used as coolers when necessary?

Wouldn't it be better if I could track where the UPS truck that will deliver my package is (day of delivery) on a map?

Thank you to all of our top ten weekly idea posters! We love your ideas! Happy innovating!

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Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Outlook – Listen up! A new feature for email

Here at Betterific, we spend a good deal of time looking through the various ideas that are posted because it is extremely interesting to think about what effect they might have on our day to day lives if they were implemented. This is why we like to do guest blog posts and interviews with members of the Betterific community, so they can really hash out some of their ideas and get the brain juices flowing for the rest of us. We like how one idea usually breeds another so today we would like to share an idea that we thought particularly interesting from our fantastic Betterific innovator, Anne Mims Adrian. Here is Anne’s idea, which was voted one of the Betterific Weekly Top Ten a few weeks ago, and some more detail on her idea.

Wouldn't it be better if there was a "like" button for email so I don't have to reply.

GG:  When did you have this idea? What were you doing?

AMA: I thought of the idea of liking email messages several times before posting the idea to Betterific. Having a quick and nonintrusive way of saying “I like” an idea, a message, or a thought is a good way to respond to messages without having to add to the number of email messages we have to read. There are several occasions, both personal and professional situations, come to mind when “favoring” an email would be helpful. For instance, my daughter is a high school softball player. Around a few events, we, as parents, usually send email responses—the streams can become disruptive. The streams also can become overwhelming—several people chiming in with the same positive thoughts. Rather than replying with a written response, a nonintrusive way of favoring a message could reduce the noise. I suppose having a “thumbs down” also could reduce the number of emails too.

For work group emails, a “like” or a favored button could work as well. Anytime there is an idea or processed described, a “like” button could indicate a favored opinion for an email message.

GG: What is valuable about this idea? Why do you think people would want this?

AMA: A “like” button could be added to any email message by the receiver, the same way a message is marked as urgent by the sender. Sometimes we don’t need a full reply, but just an indication others agree. The “like” button could cut down on the number of email messages because people would not have to reply. Everyone who received the email message could see the number of likes and who liked the message. The record of likes takes up less space and uses fewer email messages for each person in the group.

GG: Who would you like to see adopt this idea? (Companies or groups)

AMA: The easiest way to implement this idea is to do it through enterprise systems, such as Microsoft Exchange/Outlook or in big systems like, Gmail and Yahoo mail. Within these systems, senders could see the “liked” email messages as they are marked, instead of having streams of email messages agreeing.


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ConAgra Frozen Foods Betterific Campaign Winners Announced

In January 2014, ConAgra returned to Betterific to run another campaign, this time to source ideas for marketing and product development for their frozen foods brands. An email was sent to our member base announcing the campaign, which ran the last two weeks of January.

For this campaign 125 ideas were submitted, 25 comments were written, the campaign page received 798 views and 43% of all ideas were shared to Facebook and Twitter. Betterific members’ suggestions revealed trends in consumers’ thoughts regarding packaging improvements, packaging marketing, promotions and new product development. All those who left feedback and suggestions for ConAgra’s frozen foods brands were automatically entered for the chance to win the grand prize $500 shopping spree and any runners-up would receive vouchers to purchase their favorite ConAgra frozen foods. Again, we were very pleased to see our member base respond so positively to the campaign and leave such wonderful ideas to make frozen foods better.

Our top prize winner for this campaign was Ken Griggs (32 lifetime betterifs). Here’s our favorite idea from Ken:

Wouldn't it be better if froze foods had "tell-tale" labels on them that would change color if the package had ever been thawed. That way you would know if the food had ever been left out and gone bad, then refrozen.

Our runner-up winners were Dan Pick (111 lifetime betterifs), Rajesh Nerliker (41 lifetime betterifs), Paul Benjou (8 lifetime betterifs), Grace Lo Porto (8 lifetime betterifs), Kimberly W. (32 lifetime betterifs), Jenniffer Eads (6 lifetime betterifs), Metro Power Yoga (221 lifetime betterifs), Luc Michaud (31 lifetime betterifs), and Meia Geddes (136 liftetime betterifs). Thank you once more to all of our wonderful Betterific members who contributed ideas. We truly appreciate their willingness to share their thoughts and contribute to making things better. Here is a highlight of some of our runner-up winners’ ideas. Happy innovating!

Dan Pick

Grace Lo Porto

Jenniffer Eads

Kimberly W.

Meia Geddes

Paul Benjou

Written by Gwen Gurley

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Betterific Co-Founder Jonathan Schilit gets write up on Huffington Post

Here we go again! Betterific is all about crowdsourcing…and we love spreading the word! Kudos to Betterific co-founder Jonathan Schilit for his blog post on crowdsourcing in the Huffington Post! Click on the image to see the full article.

Crowdsourcing Goes Further Than You'd Think