The collective is a powerful thing. Crowdsourcing competitions can draw huge results, but the most valuable end game might not be free inspiration for a multi-million-dollar Super Bowl spot or a best-selling gadget. Rather, the most valuable prize might be the insights lurking in the collection of the submissions. The wisdom of the crowds isn’t just about picking a single winner.
How can you reap insights from the collection of ideas? Often in innovation, we welcome novelty and dismiss sameness. However, rather than thinking about repetition in the submitted ideas as being a nuisance, it is important to recognize that the repetition contains clues. Likewise, even if the ideas are relatively mundane, or at least not earth-shattering, the company can learn from that too. Collectively, the submitted ideas are a window into consumers’ minds.