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October 12, 2007

Eight great applications win the Forrester Groundswell awards

by Josh Bernoff

Today at the Forrester Consumer Forum we announced the winners of the Forrester Groundswell Awards.

As I mentioned after receiving the entries, there were some fascinating and, more to the point, highly effective social applications in the 78 entries we got. It wasn't easy to pick the best, since there were so many good ones. But, of course, we did. While we used several criteria, the most important was: did the application prove it delivered on business value.

To see the complete list of winners and finalists, click here.

Listening. Schwab's Money and More Community of Gen Xers empowered by Communispace

By Schwab and Communispace

In January 2007, Charles Schwab worked with Communispace to launch their “Money and More” private online community made up of 350 25-to-40 year old Generation X non-Schwab clients. Based on insights from the community, Schwab lowered account minimums to $1,000, introduced Schwab’s high-yield Investor checking account with a high yield, and developing an online landing page specifically for the Gen X target. Schwab has added 32% more Gen Xers YTD when compared to similar timeframes last year.

Talking. Aveo Livin' Large Campus Challenge

by Chevrolet and Weber Shandwick

Chevrolet, along with Weber Shandwick, set out to support the launch of the 2007 redesigned Chevy Aveo with a focus on college students. They created a contest: two students on each of seven college campuses across the nation were selected to see who could "live the largest" inside a Chevy Aveo for five days, only leaving the car for class and 10-minute bio breaks while documenting their entire adventure online. The students embraced the idea enthusiastically, creating YouTube videos, MySpace and Facebook groups, photos, blogs, and other realistic expressions of their experiences. Result: in just five days, the Aveo Livin' Large Campus Challenge generated 217 million audience impressions through online, traditional, grassroots and campus media. Over one million students were actively engaged in the Challenge through the Aveo web site and links in each team's Facebook and MySpace accounts.


Energizing. Netshops Social Merchandising featuring PowerReviews

by NetShops and PowerReviews 

NetShops is a specialty online retailer of home and lifestyle products with 156 separate online storefronts. It launched tag-based customer reviews from PowerReviews in November 2006 on all 156 websites. Within 6 months, the sites featured 19,500 customer reviews and a 26% increase in sales.


Supporting. Nike's Jordan Brand Breakfast Club

by Nike and Blast Radius

Jordan Brand’s Breakfast Club is an interactive online training community. Customers can select pre-built workout curriculums or create their own. The self-built programs incorporate a social component through peer assessments. 120,000 consumers signed up, and when the Training Tool for the Breakfast Club launched in August 2006, 100,000 more unique visitors came to the site than the previous year. Visitors spent an average of 6 minutes on the site.


Embracing.Salesforce.com Idea Exchange at ideas.salesforce.com

by salesforce.com

Salesforce.com built an “ideas market” -- like Digg for customer feedback and product innovation -- that allows members of the community (customers, partners, industry watchers) to submit, vote and comment on new product features. Salesforce.com's Idea Exchange generated 4500 ideas and over 82,000 votes in its first year. Half of salesforce.com's new features now come from suggestions on this idea exchange. Two of the suggestions were also turned into new products by third-party salesforce.com developers within weeks of the being highlighted on the Idea Exchange.


Managing. Avenue A Razorfish wiki

by Avenue A Razorfish

Online development company with 1900 employees developed an internal wiki to run all of its projects and increase efficiency. 987 of the 1900 employees visited the wiki in June. Page views have gone from 6,000 to 27,000 per month in six months, while page edits grew to 25,000 cumulative. There are 6505 pages of content and 2000 blog posts on the wiki. Projects are now faster and people far more responsive and collaborative.


Social impact. "Design Your Portion of the Border Fence"

by Brickfish

Visitors to this site are encouraged to create graphics for a section of the US/Mexico border fence, with the objective of encouraging people to be more thoughtful about this issue. Visitors can review and vote for the entries they like. The site attracted over 1,000 entries, 8,000 reviews, 300,000 views, and lots of press coverage.


Company transformation. Dell.

We created this new category to capture the powerful changes happening across all functions at Dell. The Dell Customer Advocate program, which pursues fast resolution of support problems, decreased the negative share of online comments about Dell by 25%. Direct2Dell, Dell's frank and informative blog, generates 3.5 million page views per month. Ideastorm, Dell's innovation community, tallied 500,000 votes for over 7,000 ideas and generated a new product, Dell PC's with Linux pre-installed. And Employee Storm, an internal idea community, has generated 2,700 ideas and seen visits from 22% of Dell's employees.


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John Harris

I just wonder how effective a campaign like Chevy's really is? According to Bloomberg, sales are off 16% this year and a lot of those 217 million impressions were impressed enough to go buy a Toyota Yaris which is selling at nearly twice the rate of the Chevy.

Josh Bernoff

Good point, John. Based on what I saw, the campaign was highly effective in making college students aware of the Aveo, which would have cost a lot more with a TV campaign.

However, if the car is not what students want, then the campaign will fail. Social marketing doesn't cure product problems, pricing problems, or any number of other ills. The same likely would have happened if they advertised it on TV.

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