Innovation That Matters

Consumers get paid for input on new products

Fashion & Beauty

When we wrote about crowdsourcing product-improvement site RedesignMe late last year, we wondered how ideas generated by users of the site would get translated into real-world products. Well, now we have an answer: last week the Dutch company announced a new program by which users of the site get paid for their input on new products. How it works: product manufacturers pay RedesignMe to establish “RDM Challenges,” through which a new product concept is presented and the site’s 1,000 or so active members are asked to react to it. Currently on the site, for instance, is one from the international DECT Forum, a group of wireless communications companies that are seeking product ideas based on CAT-iq (short for Cordless Advanced Technology – Internet and Quality). Beginning with an initial proposed concept, users are free to modify the current design or upload their own ideas, using any combination of comments, sketches, pictures, mood-boards, movies, prototypes or total redesigns. In exchange, they are rewarded with RDMs—RedesignMe’s online currency, which is convertible into products in the online RDM Shop such as mp3-players, game consoles and gift cards. RDM Challenges can be open to all users or only a select few. Ideas generated on the site are then used as input by the manufacturer’s R&D team or professional designers, who decide on the final concept. Ultimately, the companies hope, the result will be products that are better aligned with what consumers really want. RedesignMe founder Maxim Schram explains: “In response to the launch of our website last year, a lot of manufacturers called us to ask if we could help them get input from consumers. They wanted to ask the community questions and were willing to pay for it. A couple of months later we did a pilot with Vodafone Group where we asked our members to redesign a mobile portal. The results were spectacular. Back then we gave away prizes for the best designs, but now with the RDMs we can reward even the slightest creative input.” This is where Generation C(ontent) becomes Generation C(ash), and it’s where crowdsourcing will reach its true potential. Companies benefit from the wisdom of the crowds, the crowds benefit with rewards and better products—and sites like RedesignMe benefit from facilitating it all. One to emulate on a niche or localized basis!



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