Big companies with a wide appeal and reach tend to receive a large volume of communciation on their social media channels and it is a difficult task to even try responding to all of them (many brands have problems dealing with just the negative comments), let alone really listen to what fans are saying. Lots of brands have tried crowdsourcing ideas through polls, surveys and so on, but often these are directed in a way that the company wants e.g. asking fans what flavours they want – instead of being completely open. And often, no strong incentives are provided.
One brand that has regularly listened to both fans and employees is Domino’s. In fact, most of their ideas for products and concepts ave come from store staff instead of marketers and executives at the top. Because really, who knows the problems and solutions at the store and service front better than those who work there?
Domino’s has created a new campaign in the form of a Facebook app called “Think Oven“, which aims to harness the power of their fans, letting them suggest and influence ideas for how Domino’s functions. The ideas can cover any area of the business such as products, consumer interaction, online presence or quality of service. Within the app, fans can suggest ideas for projects that Domino’s has in mind (e.g. better uniforms), or suggest ideas that aren’t related to a project to put into the Idea Box. Fans can rate others’ ideas with Likes, which helps Domino’s see the popularity of ideas. A comment/discussion section on each idea also gathers additional feedback. Those with the best ideas for Domino’s projects will be rewarded with rather large cash prizes (good on Domino’s for not choosing to just give vouchers!). In addition, Domino’s doesn’t just reward the idea that they will choose to implement. In the case of the uniform improvement project, they are rewarding four ideas with $500 each. I like that a lot – it feels like Domino’s wants to reward valuable ideas, regardless of which one was eventually chosen to be implemented.
What a wonderful example of social business at work – not just using social media sites to talk about themselves, but actually creating a sustainable platform for the purpose of really engaging and empowering the fans to help the business improve in all areas in ways the customers appreciate. Domino’s is showing that it really does value its customers’ ideas and feedback and wants to shape their brand and processes to put the customer at its very heart. Furthermore, it gives Domino’s a very organised platform – ideas and projects (with image attachments) can be easily categorised and ranked by popularity among customer – which translates into a comprehensive database of engaged customers and great ideas.