The insight community toolbox: ‘make’ activities

Gone are the days when people passively consumed products and services. Today, consumers have access to information and tools that empower them to take up a more active role in shaping products and solutions. Just think about the success of crowdsourcing platforms such as ‘My Starbucks Idea’, ‘LEGO Ideas’, or ‘The Unilever Foundry’ that put people in an active ‘maker’ position. Likewise, as experts in consumer-brand collaboration, we empower creative consumers to take on an active ‘maker’ role to supply brands with a continuous stream of fresh ideas and inspiration. This practice is often referred to as ‘creative crowdsourcing’, and implies that next to ‘think’, ‘feel’, and ‘do’, ‘make’ also needs to be added to the mix of research activities.


Make activities: creative crowdsourcing

Make’ activities bring participants in an active maker position, by asking them to create something. These activities ideally start from a strong consumer insight or friction. Participants are then challenged to bring creative (out-of-the-box) ideas that build further on this insight. For these types of challenges, we collaborate with people that possess the unique skill to think out of the box. In other words, they address situations atypically and challenge the status quo.


For Arnott’s, Australia’s largest biscuits producer, we launched a creative competition on our proprietary creative crowdsourcing network, eÿeka. The Arnott’s team wanted to build a new and exciting range of flavors for Shapes, their savory biscuit cracker. The eÿeka members were challenged to come up with an overarching theme for this new biscuit cracker range, including 3 to 5 new flavors. For example, a ‘Street Eats’ theme, with underlying flavors such as Lamb Souvlaki, Spicy Samosa or Crispy Chicken Taco. The contest resulted in more than 90 ideas, submitted by 58 members from 30 countries. Each entry consisted of a visual (i.e. with a distinct pack design for each flavor) and a detailed description. These ideas – together with the output of an internal ideation challenge – were optimized and selected in a digital ideation workshop, reducing the initial pool to 11 strong ideas. These were tested on a range of KPIs with 200 consumers. The best-scoring ideas were then crafted into full-blown concepts in a concept-writing workshop.

This example from Arnott’s – focused on incremental innovation – is just one illustration of the power of ‘makers’. Another great case is how the eÿeka creators helped Fanta to supercharge their innovation funnel to create a new Fanta drink for teens. Here, the creators brought forward 112 unique, out-of-the-box ideas around new tastes and fun experiences which were taken further by the Fanta team and then validated by teens, their core target group.

Collaborating with creative consumers via these ‘make’ activities can help brands inject sparks of creativity into the business. More about creative crowdsourcing in our free Creativity Gap bookzine. Curious what other research activities to use in your research projects? Download our free The power is in the mix: think, feel, do and make bookzine.

The Power is in the Mix

The power is in the mix

Human behavior is a complex interplay between actions, cognition and emotions. In this bookzine, we showcase how to choose the right blend of ‘think’, ‘feel’, ‘do’ and ‘make’ research activities for the right business challenge.

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