A few months ago, Cherie & Julia submitted a logo to the Zambia Tourism Department Branding Contest, an open competition that called for anyone and everyone to submit a personally designed logo in hopes it would be chosen as Zambia Tourism’s newest brand.
While Cherie & Julia’s logo wasn’t selected, the experience still brings up an interesting discussion regarding crowdsourcing as a marketing tool or, on the opposite side of the coin, as a way to get your foot in the door of a saturated job market.
The Zambia Tourism Department had “2,017 different people produce 4,445 slogans and 956 different images from 45 countries” and each person or group did so free of charge. Each person or group who submitted a logo did so, it’s safe to assume, for the exposure, for the opportunity, and for the chance to expand his, her, or their portfolio. (And, of course, for the chance to take an all-expenses paid, two-week trip to Zambia, which was offered to the winning team.)
So, it definitely can be worth tossing your hourly or project rate out the window from time to time (when the opportunity makes sense to do so) and for a lot of small business owners or bloggers just starting out, crowdsourcing IS an opportunity that makes sense. Why not try to generate interest and buzz for your company or talent if you can, even if it’s without an invoice attached? If you can draw attention to your talent or company by just putting yourself out there, won’t it possibly pay off in the end?
Just check out some of the ideas and thoughts produced by the online community on the subject of crowdsourcing:
- One Book, One Twitter (a crowdsourcing campaign for a sidebar badge)
- “The Crowd is Wise, but Can It Draw?” (thoughts from Slate.com on the topic)
- “Flickr to Crowdsource Footage of Royal Wedding.”
- The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Global Education Challenge (if you have a must-be-heard idea to change the landscape of American education, why not share it with one of the largest textbook manufacturers?)
- Then there’s Crowdsource This, an idea that feels so simplistically genius, I can’t believe no one else has thought of it!
So, what do you think of the idea? Innovative and creative? Or a trend that undervalues talented designers, writers, and programmers?