So I’m sitting at my desk and a tweet comes across telling me that a “Company Slogan needs a name.” Not sure how to interpret that… So I check it out.
Apparently one of the crowdsourcing companies out there has an automated broadcast that just says “[Fill in the blank] needs a name” and this was just an instance of a client asking for something that wasn’t anticipated. (They already had the name – they needed a tagline. Mystery solved. Except I get a bit more confused when I look into it…
I haven’t used this particular crowdsourcing service, so I’m not sure what questions they ask of their clients. This particular client offered a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that was communicated thusly:
Our Unique Selling Proposition is “The Absolute Unquestioned Leader in Quality. Lowest Price and Responsiveness”
And therein lies the problem with crowdsourcing as it is performed today.
Business owners and marketers are often the people least qualified to communicate what makes their solution unique. In most cases USP translates into “whatever we think the clients need to hear to be compelled to buy our stuff.” Why else would anyone ever describe quality, low price, and service as unique? Everyone says they offer high quality and low prices with great service.
Google today lists 43 million hits for the combination of three words. The first link is to a Marketingprofs article titled “Quality, Service, Price: Meaningless Claims That Can Drive Customers Away.” That’s a pretty clear sign this is the wrong direction to go, right?
So, let’s assume that we have a couple hundred people ready to help this company out. Each of them spends ten minutes developing concepts. That’s more than 33 hours of time (already an issue for many that follow and rail against crowdsourcing) applied to a task that has almost no chance of helping the client. It’s the latter part that gets my blood boiling.
Crowdsourcing suppliers should have some level of responsibility for the projects that they allow on their systems, and legally they do. I’m pretty sure if someone requested a logo that directly copies the Nike Swoosh they’d be shut down by the sites that offer the service. Similarly, if someone directly asked for “a completely useless name or logo that had no value whatsoever” the providers would step in and stop the debacle since it demeans the service. So why, when a client asks for something that any responsible or experienced marketer would see was folly, would the provider not step in to set things right?
Making it worse in this case is the client’s closing clarification. “We are looking for a slogan that states this in a strong way and will stand out.”
The reasons why crowdsourcing sucks as it exists today are many, but very few of them have anything to do with the core concept itself. A great idea poorly executed is still a great idea.
Crowdsourcing providers… Step up. Take some responsibility for the work being requested on your systems. This is one issue that you can solve without investing in technology. One person with a degree in marketing sitting in a chair reviewing projects as they come in… that’s enough to fix this. So why isn’t anyone doing it?
Do crowdsourcing providers have an obligation not to allow their clients to get ripped off, or are they merely inverse flea-markets where buyers say what they want and everyone else tries to fit the description – even if the want is completely illogical or useless?
Incidentally… Where can I buy a lamp made out of matchsticks?