The Betterific Blog

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


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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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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?

 


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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 Inc.com

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 MarketingSherpa.com

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, RetailConsultant.ca 

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 Betterific.com!

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