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Wiki Commons

As more and more companies leverage crowdsourcing to market and sell their products, Harvard Business Review wanted to know if customers would be more eager to buy if they knew folks like themselves helped come up with the innovation or marketing:

We decided to look at how consumers perceive crowdsourced new products and in particular how the inferences they make impact their choices. We found that labeling crowdsourced new products as such — that is, marketing the product as “customer-ideated” at the point of purchase (POP) — increased the product’s market performance by up to 20%.

The findings are based on two randomized field experiments conducted with Muji. One study was run in its food division and one in its consumer electronics department. In both cases, crowdsourcing was used to generate a new product (a flavored pretzel and a security buzzer, respectively). We then manipulated the POP display as the product was introduced to market. In one set of stores the POP display was silent about the product’s source of design. The other stores’ POP displays sold the product explicitly as customer-ideated. The latter set of stores sold substantially more of the product.

What makes this cue sell so well? A series of more controlled follow-up studies revealed…

Read the rest of the findings here.

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