When brands resort to crowdsourcing, they allow the audience to put into and show that brands are listening. Although it is a great way to get your audience involved, it may not always go in the direction you intend it to. Marketers that walk in blindly will definitely trip on the crowdsourcing mistakes.
Mountain Dew’s Crowdsourcing Mistakes:
Mountain Dew was ready to launch its Apple flavored drink last August exclusively available at Villa Pizza restaurants. By asking the crowd to vote on the name of the new drink, Mountain Dew did not anticipate what would happen. The top voted name, as you can expect, was not something Mountain Dew could have used. The votes were quickly taken down and the soda was named, “Apple Mountain Dew.”
McDonald’s Horror Stories:
As you can see from the the tweets above, McDonald’s idea on crowdsourcing went in the opposite direction. #McDStories was used to share stories about real customers experiencing Mcdonald’s. Unfortunately, it was not anticipated and people simply used their wits to tweet things that harmed the company’s image.
How Can I Avoid These Mistakes?
One thing you can do to avoid crowdsourcing mistakes is to set boundaries. When looking at the Mountain Dew example, the staff at Mountain Dew could have picked up a few names and let the audience vote on the best one. This would prevent people from using their wits and coming up with names that wouldn’t be acceptable.
When attempting to crowdsource, you also be able to think outside the company. Looking back at the McDonald’s example, they should have known that there will be people that don’t like McDonald’s. In the worst case scenario, all you would have to do is pull the plug when crowdsourcing seems to be going in the wrong direction. Reflect upon what you learned and apply it the next time.