Unilever’s Open Innovation portal invites the public to submit their ideas for a selection of ‘challenges and wants’.
The challenges are all aimed at improving or modifying consumer products, such as coming up with a new way of cleaning up fat or reducing the amount of water used by a shower without harming the user experience.
People can submit their ideas for solving these particular issues, and if it passes the screening criteria then they could potentially be invited in for further discussions.
This type of collaboration is different to the previous examples as consumers aren’t able to contribute or vote on one another’s ideas, they simply submit their thoughts to Unilever and wait to see if they pass muster.
But even so, it’s an interesting example of a huge corporation asking the public to assist with its product development.
Kraft Food used crowdsourcing to devise the brand positioning for new Mini-Oreo cookies.
Despite being a commercial success the product did not have its own identity that was distinct from normal Oreo cookies.
To solve this issue, Kraft worked with crowdsourcing platform eYeka to ask its online community to design a poster or print ad that they felt defined what was unique to the Mini-Oreo product.
Kraft received more than 500 ideas from 42 countries and was able to identify 10 potential ideas for its new brand positioning. Several of the crowd’s creations were of a high enough quality that they could be used immediately for consumer testing.
Their work inspired the new positioning and global campaigns for the Oreo brand around ‘Bonding Moments’.