Crowdsourcing is the practice of inviting feedback, input, and suggestions from “the crowd”—your clients, customers, and the Internet at large. It’s a way to get useful information about what your customer base really wants, and invite them to be more involved in your products and your company as a whole.
Companies are increasingly using crowdsourcing to draw attention to their brand and create excitement among clients and prospects about what the business offers. It’s a great way to create buzz…but not necessarily the best way to design your brand.
Crowdsourcing can’t plan for the future of your business
What are the biggest drawbacks of crowdsourcing? First and foremost, it’s almost entirely limited to clients who are online. Depending on your business and your niche, that might be 90% of your customers—or it could be only 15%. Your feedback will come from only a certain demographic who are frequent Internet users, and will likely be defined by those sensibilities—which means crowdsourced opinions are likely to be modern, trendy, and based on the experiences of the youngest and most tech-savvy of your customers. If that doesn’t describe your target audience as a whole, crowdsourcing might not be the best idea for you.
When in doubt, enlist a pro
When it comes to design in general and logos in particular, it’s important to consider that you really do get what you pay for. Professional designers and branding experts can guide you toward a logo design that is fresh and current, but will also stand the test of time. On the other hand, contests and crowdsourced content may be too trendy for the long term, or too unprofessional to use.
It’s certainly less expensive to go to your audience for logo and branding advice—and in many cases, you’ll get thoughtful feedback that can be useful in building and improving your brand. In the long run, however, great design takes skill, experience, and an understanding of the marketplace. That’s something only a professional can provide.
If you’re excited about crowdsourcing your design efforts, consider combining a customer-created logo with the efforts of a professional design team. Take the best of the designs you receive and turn them into a powerful logo that will represent your business and stand the test of time.