2008 Forrester Groundswell Awards Winners
by Josh Bernoff
We've pored over all 150 entries. These were difficult choices -- the quality of social applications improved markedly in 2008, and many were excellent, with real proof of business value. Today we announce the best of the best -- the winners by category. Here they are, with links to their entries:
Mattel's The Playground Community by Communispace. A private community of 500 moms, created by Mattel and Communispace. Paid off when Mattel had a series of product recalls of popular toy brands in Fall 2007. They used this group as a sounding board for advice on how to handle this crisis. Result: despite the recalls, Q4 2007 sales were up 6%.
Young & Free Alberta by Common Wealth Credit Union. A credit union in Alberta started a campaign to generate more young customers. They conducted a contest to find a young spokesperson, who then used a blog, YouTube, and Facebook to connect with other young people in Alberta. Result: 2 million impressions, 2,300 new accounts, and $4 million Canadian in new deposits.
Hershey's Bliss House Party by House Party. A campaign to introduce a new line of little chocolates. Pitch: sign up for a party, get bags of the chocolates, share the product. Those who participated got to do a party blog or upload photos or videos. Result: They energized 10,000 parties, reached 129,000 people, and say their campaign was seen by 7 million people. Overwhelmingly positive response, most people hadn't seen the product before, but after the parties, most said they really like it.
Nerd Network by National Instruments. Highly active community of 110,000 people who use National Instruments’ LabView software. Community members answer 46% of all support questions. This is no ordinary forum – it also includes areas to generate new product ideas, a champions program for LabView experts, and even an area for mentoring high school students.
MyStarbucksIdea.com by Starbucks. Among many excellent embracing applications, this one stands out. It includes thousands and thousands of participants. They have 75,000 ideas suggested. Some of the suggestions have changed the way the Starbucks company does business – including new products and service ideas already implemented by Starbucks.
Borderless Workplace by Accenture. Accenture is a huge company with thousands of consultants. With its new sharing applications, 100,000 of its 180,000 employees use its "People" Facebook-like app, 60,000 every month. The application logged 3,450 questions from these staffers and 4,157 responses in the last quarter. There are 577 pages in its knowledge-sharing wiki. Over 100 clients using the company's extranet pages to keep up on projects and status.
Brooklyn Museum for all three entries:
Among many companies using social technologies for the greater good, we recognized a little museum in New York, the Brooklyn Museum. Why? Because of the multiple ways they have used social technologies to put their visitors in charge. They created a Facebook application in which 2,000 people identified and shared the bits of art in the museum that they liked best. They created a community curated exhibit – 3,000 people chose which art pieces to put on display, based on a total of 400,000 votes. And the museum has put the whole collection online, where the community tags it with identifying terms, allowing you to see pieces of art similar to the ones you like, or on specific topics.
Intuit for four entries:
- TurboTax Inner Circle
- Quickbooks — Just Start Contest
- Quickbooks Community Site
- TurboTax Live Community
Intuit transformed the way it does business based on social technologies. We recognized this as a category of excellence beyond individual applications.
Intuit puts social deeply into every one of its products. Let’s start with the Quickbooks forum, which gets 3 million page views a year. 90% of visitors get their questions answered. Then add the TurboTax live community, which is built right into the front screen of TurboTax – the product connects you with the community on the home screen. This cut support costs for TurboTax by 40%. TurboTax has assembled a panel of 17,000 people into its “Inner Circle” – internal product teams often run product ideas by this panel and get instant feedback. Finally, I’d like to cite their “Just Start” contest for Entrepreneurs, who could submit videos and compete for startup money for their ventures. They received 2,500 contest entries and through this program distributed 300,000 sample CDs for the QuickBooks product to qualified prospects.