Why InnoCentive Seekers Should View Solvers as Consumers As Well As Innovators

Posted by jartese on Jun 25, 2013 1:28:37 PM

It’s easy to fall into the trap of putting people into a box, viewing their capabilities and the benefits they can offer too narrowly. Our community of nearly 300,000 multifaceted individuals are not just experts who can help solve your problems – they are also consumers who can offer customer perspectives and insights, and odds are, many of them fall into your target market. Men and women, old and young, active professionals and retirees, academics and students, culturally diverse – they buy and use products and services across virtually all consumer categories.

There is much to gain from viewing InnoCentive's Solvers as consumers as well as innovators, and there are some strong reasons for Seekers to buy into this perspective.

Combine development steps to engage with consumers and innovators at the same time. Our Solver Community offers a unique overlap of consumer focus groups and innovative developers. Rather than first discussing an idea for a new product with a focus group, and then exploring practicalities with developers, these steps can be combined inyo one Challenge. A great example of this was our recent Electronic Apps for Inhaler Devices Challenge, attracting asthma sufferers as well as app developers from our Solver Community.

Benefit from diversity and global reach. Our diverse community of Solvers span every continent and almost 200 countries, thereby bringing different cultural perspectives to Challenges. One Seeker took advantage of culturally varied attitudes and habits around care for the elderly by asking for models to motivate and support altruism within communities.

Co-create and drive brand engagement. Asking consumers to help you tackle Challenges is a strong and engaging way to demonstrate that you value their opinions and are open to feedback. A travel social network did this recently through one of our Challenges by asking Solvers which incentives work best for encouraging membership, and which website version they liked best. Thomson Reuters did this as well, asking Solvers to help the company improve its online products. This Challenge engaged more than 800 people from around the world, and Phase 2 which focuses on the implementation of this original Challenge is now in progress. Inevitably, these types of Challenges drive interest and website traffic from individuals who spent time exploring their offerings.

Next time you consider posting a Challenge to our Solver Community, think outside the box and enjoy the benefits of co-creating and conversing with your consumers!

Authored by Siobhán Gibney Gomis, Director of Business Development at InnoCentive & Amiel M. Kornel, Board Member at InnoCentive

Topics: Innovation Insights, Solvers, Challenges

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