Brands Still Need Agencies, but Agencies Also Need the Crowd
Instead of Fearing Crowdsourcing, Companies Should Embrace 'Crowdvoicing'
By John Ball, Partner/Creative Director
A few weeks ago, JC Penney unveiled a new logo, created by a third-year design student at the University of Cincinnati. According to the company's press release, JC Penney solicited "over 200 designs for consideration." That's right: a company valued at almost $18 billion crowdsourced its new logo -- and chose a student's design.
This announcement is just one of many that have agencies up in arms over crowdsourcing. But companies have gone outside the agency world before for brand design.
In 1936, Toyota (then Toyoda) put out a call for entries to design its corporate logo and, according to legend, a University of Oregon student designed the Nike swoosh for essentially the price of dinner. But the legends are the exception, not the norm. Companies can look beyond agencies, but brands can't win by cutting corners.