Rather than fighting against it, brands can use social and the power of crowds as a testing ground for new ideas.
The social environment is a good place to start for innovation, particularly if it gets people energised about your brand.
Andrew Lippman, associate director of the MIT Media Lab, believes brands should cultivate a community where they can source great ideas, which will be an important tactic as trust continues to shift from institutions to social networks.
“To the extent that a brand regards itself as an institution it is fragile, because trust will migrate to the networks, so I think one of the places to look is to see how the social organisation can work on your behalf as opposed to fighting it,” Lippman suggests.
The new rules of innovation
Coca-Cola has embraced the power of the crowd when it comes to innovation. In August 2018 the drinks giant used crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to gauge consumer demand for its premium water brand Valser.
Devised by Coke’s North American innovation team, the crowdfunding campaign gave consumers the chance to become the first 500 people to sample Vasler and comment on the taste, brand proposition and price.
Consumers felt like they had discovered a new product, while Coke gained instant feedback. Despite being on the crowdfunding site for just one month, Coke raised $10,701 (£8,504) from 193 backers paying to receive bottles of Valser.