Last month, Kylie Jenner announced on her Lip Kit Instagram account that one lucky fan would get to name a shade in her new Valentine Collection. Within the hour, thousands of comments appeared on the post with countless suggestions for the social media star to choose from. As consumers vied for a chance to make Lip-Kit history, we realized that Jenner had caught on to a greater phenomenon in the beauty industry: the power of crowdsourcing.
Typically, crowdsourcing takes place on a brand's social media channels where consumers can take surveys, vote, and comment to give feedback on shades, trends, and products. This year alone, the beauty world has welcomed at least three other products either named or formulated with the help of crowdsourcing: Charlotte Tilbury's Between the Sheets and Kiss Chase lipsticks, and Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser. Other beauty brands, like Julep, have been crowdsourcing for years.
It makes a lot of sense if you think about it — in the past, if you were unhappy with, say, your new moisturizer, you didn't have many options other than to throw away the container and forget about it forever. But now, through social media, consumers can voice their concerns online — and, believe it or not, brands are listening.
This newfound connectivity has allowed brands to take that conversation one step further by involving consumers in the entire process of product creation, from formulas to shade names. In return for participating in what is essentially a free focus group, the consumer feels some ownership of the products he or she has helped name or design. Read more about some of our favorite brand-customer collaborations, ahead.