It’s Your Brand, Start Acting Like It
Over the last several years, crowdsourcing has shifted the paradigm for both agencies and brands: You can fund the launch of a new product with a Kickstarter campaign and order a dozen corporate logo concepts for $99. I guess that’s good news in some regard, especially if you want three mediocre and nine awful logos.
At the same time, many companies finally have their sea-legs about them with their social media accounts. They’re feeling a bit more confident in engaging consumers and acknowledging brand devotees earnestly… and occasionally generating a bit of fun for all in the process. That’s really and honestly a good thing.
But, like too much of any good thing, some folks are bound to find an awkward nexus that collides the least appealing ingredients of social media and crowdsourcing at an abrupt right angle.
To wit: Of all the social media outreach techniques that are floating around — and a lot of ’em are good — my current least favorite is the “Help us name our product” routine: half social media, half crowdsourcing, half-baked. It’s so often the move of companies that seem lost for an immediate clever idea or, worse, desperate for interaction. Indeed, nothing says, “We have no direction or vision for this product” quite like foisting the responsibility for a product name on your customers. For the consumer, the messaging is unequivocal: we give up, you try.
Is there a good idea for a product name in a sea of product name ideas generated by your customers? Maybe. Will you find it? Probably not. More likely, the least devoted sideline followers will have the loudest say and core consumers will be left wondering why their favorite company has lost the ability to figure it out for themselves.
– Jon Roketenetz