Power of the Crowd


/ˈkraʊdˌsɔːs/ [kroud-sawrs, -sohrs]


1. To outsource work to an unspecified group of people, typically by making an appeal to the general public on the internet

Derived Forms

crowdsourcing, noun

Word Origin

c21: from crowd + (out)source

“crowdsource”. Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 12 Oct. 2016. <Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/crowdsource>.

When you simply google Crowdsourcing the defintions you seem to always get involve the internet in some form or another. Like the defintion shown above. However, today we will be discussing types of crowdsourcing that can happen offline. Generally, crowdsourcing is good for businesses testing out the market for a product or service they may offer. It is an effective way to understand what your target market really wants or needs. This way of doing business can be very effective, not only for production but you give the consumer a feeling of ownership or pride. They took direct part of the product or service and feel a sense of pride when they think of your business.

To understand what could be used in offline crowdsourcing, we must first look at what online crowdsourcing looks like through some examples…

  1. Anheuser-Busch — Sought customer input to develop a brand more attuned to craft-beer tastes. Development of Black Crown, a golden amber lager, combined a competition between company-brewmasters with consumer suggestions and tastings; this project had more than 25,000 consumer-collaborators.
  2. Coca-Cola — “Where Will Happiness Strike Next?” series of short films and TV-commercials relies on the social media-input of Coke customers, contributing ideas about creating happiness. Coke also crowdsources online suggestions for marketing its products.
  3. Lays Chips— ‘Do Us A Flavour’ Crowdsourcing campaign. Encouraged consumers to create their very own flavour of chip and people voted for their favourite.

Offline Crowdsourcing?

Honestly, in todays day and age most crowdsourcing is done online so that there is no geographical barriers between buisnesses and their people. Although there are a few methods out there not using the web to crowdsource.

  1. Coke Cola Freestyle Drink Machine

The Coke Cola Freestyle Machine that has become more popular in the last few years as customizing everything has become more prominant. The machine allows you to customize your coke with tons of combinations available. Not only does the consumer feel like they had a part in your company by creating their own drink, but it allows coke to conduct marketing research about what people are drinking in certain areas. This may be a form of crowdsourcing that may not be obvious to the consumer but follows that same principle as the definition.

2. Policy decision-making

On a totally different note, policy makers utilize an offline tool that follows the same principles of crowdsourcing. The tool is referred to as civil society. This refers to a group of people that come together to share ideas and to reach a common goal. Ultimately the goal of the group is to work with the government to create solutions for possibily controversial issues.


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