Crowdsourcing is for amateurs

"Crowdsourcing" design is the process of enlisting a pool of volunteers to come up with solutions to a specific design and marketing problem. The buyer writes a brief, submits it to everyone in the pool, then takes a look at what they come up with. They choose the solution they like best and pay the volunteer who provided it--one contributor is rewarded, the rest go away empty-handed.

Please note that I did not call the volunteers "designers." They're not. If they were they'd understand that crowdsourcing ignores the very core practices necessary to produce real, practical design and marketing solutions (there is no such thing as design without a marketing component--at least there shouldn't be). Occasionally, someone might stumble on a reasonable solution, but even then, the client never learns what a solid, researched solution might have looked like.

Don't let anyone tell you different--graphic design and marketing are complex disciplines. You've got to learn about your clients business, distinguish them from their competition, and do it within the context of a specific market, at a particular place and time, and within the bounds of their abilities and resources. If you think you can do that responsibly well under the flimsy framework of crowdsourcing, you're delusional--I do not say that frivolously, I mean you are literally acting under a false belief.

The excuse is often, of course, "I can't afford it" or "I don't have the time." To which I would respond, how you sell your product or service is every bit as important as the product or service itself. So to say you don't have the resources to present your product or service in a thoughtful, effective way is to, again, deny reality.

Crowdsourcing is for those who believe marketing is an afterthought and branding is aesthetics. Those who participate in it, for good or ill, are amateurs.

Chuck Green

PS: In case you missed my most recent Briefings, I've was off the air for a few months transforming Ideabook.com. Take a look here...

And here's Ideabook.com Briefing 229...

If you doubt the power of branding, look at this Tad Carpenter project...


One of my all-time favorite advertising campaigns: The Power of the Printed Word...


In a former life I was the co-owner of a weird rubber stamp business...


Diego Patiño's illustrations are electric...


Chuck Green's curated list of Reference resource...
 

Are you legally responsible for your client's advertising claims?