crowdsourcing for SMB

How Businesses Use Crowdsourcing For Branding

As a small business owner and entrepreneur, it can be difficult to find time to manage or enhance your branding. One of the biggest challenges in today’s fast-paced tech-driven world is ensuring that the creative branding around your company is attractive and effective for soliciting customer engagement.

Professional Branding

Every business’s branding toolkit should include a meaningful logo, an attractive website and a consistent social media presence that catches the eye of media-savvy consumers.

The goal of every brand is to be recognizable and memorable. Launching a new company or initiative without the right branding materials is a risk, as you may not attract the right type of consumer attention or resonate top-of-mind with your target audience.

Here are four reasons why many small and medium-sized businesses are turning to crowdsourcing marketplaces to meet their branding needs:

Faster Results

Traditional branding agencies often do an excellent job of delivering a well-tailored pitch, but the timescale of that turnaround can sometimes present significant limitations.

It is sometimes just unfeasible to provide dedicated resources to finding one specific partner and negotiating a mutually beneficial contract.

The crowdsourcing approach allows you to go straight to the market with your design brief and invite an entire community of creative people to submit their ideas immediately. Crowdsourcing sites can include a community of more than half a million designers working globally. That means that no matter where you are located, there will likely be designers who can start work on your contest immediately. In fact, most customers receive their first designs within a few hours.

This gives an early indication of whether or not the brief is set up correctly and if you have provided good direction to the designers.

 

More Affordable

Many people who have never used crowdsourcing before worry that it is expensive. Conversely, if the cost is lower than a traditional agency, they think it’s because they will receive an inferior product. In reality, utilizing a pool of thousands of qualified and willing designers can significantly reduce the costs and yield fantastic work.

There are no inflexible, locked-in contracts. And since having someone on the books to handle creative can be cost-prohibitive, crowdsourcing your customized graphic design is an affordable way to develop the variety of creative assets needed to build your brand.

The process also comes with a lot more financial flexibility, as you can set your budget. The competition allows the total costs to remain as low as possible, while also ensuring that you can review dozens, if not hundreds of designs that help you make the best possible decision.

More Creative

Some of the world’s most distinguished businesses utilize crowdsourcing to tap into the creativity, skills, and knowledge of a massive network of potential brand advocates.

Despite this, there remains a common fallacy that a larger pool of talent somehow equates to low quality. This comes from the erroneous assumption that designers entering competitions are uncommitted, unskilled, and unqualified.

However, the truth is competition drives superior quality. Freelance designers are keen to get on your shortlist and win the prize to make money and expand their portfolios. The process opens up the design space to incredibly talented individuals who may work as a designer part-time, or who prefer to work directly with clients without the overhead of an agency. Someone fighting for recognition and acclaim will enter high-quality work which will reflect positively on them.

By using design contest sites, you can tap into the top designs the world has to offer with few limitations. You can get much more designs from a large pool of creative minds and ultimately develop or refresh your branding for a fraction of the usual cost.

A typical project on a crowdsourcing site receives dozens of designs in a relatively small period, all of which you can peruse until you find the one that speaks to your mission and brand identity.

More Collaborative

Working with a single artist can be a strenuous, time-consuming process. You have to carefully explain exactly what you are looking for, provide detailed responses to their initial work, and continuously invest more time in ensuring that your ideas are being brought to fruition. So, as opposed to leaving your design future in the hands of a single agency or a freelancer, crowdsourcing allows you to maximize your opportunities by providing multiple experts with singular instructions – ensuring that you can receive more options while spending fewer resources like time.

There is less risk around the possibility of many minds all failing to understand your branding vision. Designers tend to work more diligently when they encouraged by professional competition and are depending on being hired to address your specific needs. You should provide feedback on the designs you like during the contest, but you are mostly left untethered to focus on developing your business while the creative elements get delivered to your inbox.

Because artists are essentially bidding for your business, you never have to settle for anything less than perfection, and if you can’t decide on your shortlist of designs, you can directly poll your friends, followers, colleagues and customers online to help you determine the winner.

You can also eliminate designs you know are not right for your brand, and request changes from designers you feel are closer to the mark.

(Image “Edgethreesixty branding” by EdgeThreeSixty TM is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Adi Yagil

Adi Yagil

LIkes: UX, Design, Marketing, Human Behavior, planet Vulcan (not necessarily in this order). Sometimes, I build stuff on the web. #LLAP