March 01, 2007

10 ideas to involve your customers in making the product?

Idea # 1: Customer designed products
* One of the more innovative car making companies, BMW, invites their customers to design their next car themselves. Try it out here.
* Ralph Lauren invites customers to design their own clothes. For example, you can create your own baseball cap. Try it yourself here.

Idea # 2: Contests

Idea # 3: Polls
On http://keyinvest.ibb.ubs.com the following poll question was published in January, 2007: "In your opinion what will the oil price (USD/barrel) be in six months?" You could choose between 4 choices: A: Below 40. B: 40 to 60. C: 60 to 80. D: Above 80.

Idea # 4: Editing of encyclopedia
On the free encyclopedia Wikipedia you can edit what is written.

Idea # 5: Television development using feedback from users
Joost™ is a new way to watch TV, free of the schedules and restrictions that come with traditional television. Joost™ combines the best of TV and the best of the Internet. The people behind Joost invited a large number of people to test the program – thereby making it better satisfy the needs of people watching.

Idea # 6: Facilitator driven conferences, seminars, and other meetings
Using efficient techniques Ib Ravn invites his customers to learn form each other. Here are 17 techniques to create more value in meetings.

Idea # 7: Business Development through blogging
An example of a high value creating blog is the blog at www.kolindkuren.dk. During the past months, a very large number of people participated on the blog of Lars Kolind in analyzing and coming up with a number of suggestions on how to make companies in different industries create more value, i.e. not least replace bureaucracy with more innovative thinking and acting.

Idea # 8: LiveChat
At tagesanzeiger.ch everyone can discuss various subjects online by interacting on a LiveChat held occasionally with invited guests who work for various organizations.

Idea # 9: Law making using referendums
In Switzerland, the people are, relatively often, involved in the law making process. See this list of referendums held in Switzerland.

Idea # 10: Music in the church
In the church Thomaskirche im Gut in Zurich, people who wish to play a little tune on their instruments, for instance during Sunday mass, have the possibility to do so. Just call the priest.

How far is your company in making the customers participants?
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