Using Crowdsourcing to Drive Business

Case Study

In today’s interconnected world, brands are increasingly leveraging the power of crowdsourcing to drive business growth and foster innovation. Crowdsourcing enables companies to tap into the collective wisdom and creativity of a diverse community of individuals to solve problems, generate ideas, and improve products and services. In this DM, we’ll explore how brands are successfully utilizing crowdsourcing to Convey and Augment their brand message and Connect with and Convert their target audience.

The following case studies illustrate how brands are using crowdsourcing to drive business in the real world.

Domino’s Pizza

In 2009, two Domino’s Pizza employees posted a YouTube video of themselves doing inappropriate and unhealthy things to a pizza. The video garnered over a million hits at lightning speed; it looked like it would destroy Domino’s business. Instead, Domino’s took the setback as an opportunity to resurrect its brand image by eliciting feedback from its customer base to improve Domino’s product offerings. Aside from saving the brand, Domino’s actions provide a case study of a well-run digital marketing campaign.

Domino’s had a fivefold strategy to deal with the PR crisis: 1) respond quickly and decisively 2) come clean and start building new relationships with its customer base (3) listen to customer feedback to improve its product offerings (4) improve the customer experience (e.g. Pizza Tracker) (5) leverage social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, to help generate excitement about the company’s new direction.

Domino’s began by admitting the error of its ways. President Patrick Doyle responded to the inappropriate YouTube video immediately, apologizing to his customers about the SNAFU. Domino’s then apologized to its customer base for the inferior quality of its pizza, admitting that it wasn’t very good.

Domino’s continued the rebranding effort by redesigning pizza boxes and developing surveys to gather and respond to customer feedback. The company used crowdsourcing as a way to gain realistic feedback and act on customer opinions and suggestions.

This feedback was incredibly important for Domino’s survival as a business, as it provided an opportunity to reconnect with its customer base and show that the brand really was listening to its customers. When the feedback was negative, Domino’s took the criticism seriously enough to completely redesign its product from the crust up. At this point, Domino’s launched its “PizzaTurnaround” campaign, which focused on being open with consumers and encouraging them to try the newly designed Domino’s pizza.

The campaign resulted in increasing revenues by 14.3% in the first quarter of 2010. Moreover, the company’s stock has risen 400% since the campaign was implemented. How did Domino’s do it? By aligning the company’s brand message with the core values of the emerging digital culture and employing an effective integrated digital marketing strategy.

The goal of this new campaign was to win back old customers and create new customers by getting them to try Domino’s new and improved pizza. As a part of the campaign, Domino’s created a #newpizza Twitter feed, posted advertisements on YouTube, and developed a Pizza Tracker as part of its website, which is a visually engaging tool that lets customers easily order any kind of Domino’s product online and watch as the pizza makes its way through the steps to delivery. Domino’s became interactive, social, transparent, and open to customer reviews and feedback, reflecting an acute understanding of the new values of the digital culture.


Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most iconic beverage brands, employed crowdsourcing to engage with its customers and develop new flavors. The company launched the “Flavor Creator” campaign, inviting people to submit their own unique flavor combinations. Participants had the opportunity to become co-creators of a limited edition Coca-Cola flavor, generating excitement and building brand loyalty through active involvement.


Threadless, a popular online apparel company, has built its entire business model around crowdsourcing. They host ongoing design challenges, inviting artists from around the world to submit their artwork. The community then votes on their favorite designs, and the winners have their creations featured on Threadless products. This approach not only generates a vast array of fresh and diverse designs but also fosters a sense of community and engagement among customers.


Airbnb, the global accommodation marketplace, recognizes the importance of local knowledge in enhancing the traveler experience. The company implemented a crowdsourcing initiative called “Neighborhood Support,” which encourages hosts and locals to provide recommendations and insider tips for their neighborhoods. By crowdsourcing these valuable insights, Airbnb enhances its offering by providing travelers with authentic and curated recommendations from those who know the area best.


Dell, a leading technology company, launched IdeaStorm, an online platform for customers to share and vote on ideas for improving Dell products and services. Through crowdsourcing, Dell gains valuable customer feedback and insight into market demands. The platform allows customers to voice their opinions and directly influence the development of new products, reinforcing Dell’s commitment to customer-centric innovation.


LEGO, renowned for its interlocking plastic bricks, runs an online platform called “LEGO Ideas” where fans can submit their own designs for new LEGO sets. Through crowdsourcing, LEGO enthusiasts are empowered to share their creativity and passion for building, allowing the company to identify potential product ideas. Successful submissions have the chance to be produced as official LEGO sets, granting recognition to the original creators and reinforcing brand loyalty.


Crowdsourcing has emerged as a powerful tool for brands to tap into the collective intelligence of their customers and enthusiasts. Through the examples discussed above, it is evident that crowdsourcing enables brands to drive business success by fostering innovation, building customer loyalty, and enhancing the overall customer experience. As we move forward, we can expect to see even more brands embracing this collaborative approach to harness the creativity and expertise of their communities, ultimately shaping the future of business and consumer engagement.