Starbucks: Using Crowdsourcing For New Idea Generation

One the most challenging tasks for companies is to innovative with the goal of offering products / services to consumers.   For some companies, the innovation process can be very closed in order to avoid competitors from being tipped to future plans.  Such potential threat has not scared off companies that have embraced a web 2.0 culture where sharing ideas and information can benefit everyone.   A company that is using a social media tool to aid them in developing new products is the coffee house chain, Starbucks.

Via their crowdsourcing platform,  My Starbucks Idea, the company is able to have a hub where consumers can share their ideas regarding anything that is linked to the brand, specifically:

  • Products
  • In-store experience
  • Involvement (i.e. social responsibility, building community, etc.)

Figure 1 is a screenshot of an entry made by a community member making a suggestion that Starbucks bring back old blends of coffee.


Figure 1: A Post Regarding Starbucks' Old Blends of Coffee


Within 50 minutes from when the original post was placed online on a Sunday morning, there were four comments posted by other community members.

To sustain the level of engagement via the platform, Starbucks rewards community members for their ideas with points that are accumulated and listed on the leaderboard as seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2: LeaderBoard Listing Top Members

The most impressive section of the site is “Idea In Action”.  The section provides a listing of ideas that community members submitted and their status in regards of being implemented by the coffee house chain.  Figure 3 is a screenshot of the ideas that have been consider recently.  The ideas with a check mark next to them are suggestions that Starbucks has decided to launch in some of their stores.

Figure 3: Ideas In Action Listings

Do you know of another company that has selected to turn to crowdsourcing to engage their consumers or clients in hopes to generate new ideas for products and or services?  Please sure to let us know.

Want To Know More?

Please read our past post:

About Intelegia

Intelegia is a boutique consulting firm in Montreal, Canada that understands the need to be innovative and strategic in a business landscape that’s evolving at an incredible pace. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must.

To receive updates, follow Intelegia on LinkedIn.