Lay’s Joins Growing Trend Of Brands Crowdsourcing Through Facebook

By Justin Lafferty 

Lay’s wants to introduce a new flavor of potato chip. But it is not hiring a marketing firm or forming a blue-ribbon committee to figure out a flavor — it is asking people who have liked the brand on Facebook. In exchange for the winning flavor, the user with the best idea receives $1 million. More and more companies are turning to their Facebook fans for new ideas.

The company announced recently that it is managing the “Do Us a Flavor” campaign through Facebook. The person who submits the winning flavor, as chosen by Lay’s, wins $1 million. By accessing the Do Us a Flavor application, users can name their flavor, pick out what ingredients will go into it, and share their inspiration. Lay’s enlisted the help of celebrity chef Michael Symon and actress Eva Longoria to help promotions.

Not feeling creative? The app will generate ideas from your profile.

Riley Gibson, CEO of Napkin Labs, feels that social crowdsourcing through Facebook is a refreshing trend. One of the services Napkin Labs offers is helping companies generate interest and ideas through their fans. Gibson explained to AllFacebook how more brands are tapping into the creativity of those who have liked their page:

I think social media gives brands the perfect window into the needs of customers, and through collaborative tools, brands can actually work with their customers to shape the future of the company. It is a really exciting space with a lot of potential to take social media beyond the hype. I am especially excited to see companies take their Facebook communities seriously and do more than just run sweepstakes to get likes. I think brand communities on Facebook are just beginning to emerge as a real resource for companies.  It is a trend Facebook needs to wake up to, I think.

Gibson pointed out that Napkin Labs is helping Whole Foods run a similarly tasty campaign, where fans of the page can share their next big idea for bacon to win a year’s supply of the delicious pork product. Whole Foods fans submit tantalizing recipes through the app, and other fans then vote for the lucky winner.

Lay’s is the latest major brand to get behind social crowdsourcing. Starbucks and Nissan have also gone to the fan well for concepts.

Ram Krishnan, Frito-Lay North America’s vice president of marketing, said in a press release why Lay’s is taking advantage of crowdsourcing for a new flavor:

We’ve created some really great potato chip flavors over the years, but this time around, we’re asking our consumers to weigh in and share their ideas for what comes next. With a mix of traditions, cultures and backgrounds, we know our fans have what it takes to come up with a truly winning flavor that will be a delicious treat for fans all across the country. We can’t wait to see what fans come up with and all the creative submissions.

Check out some of the more interesting ideas that have been submitted so far (these flavors are comments on the Lay’s page. The app is running slow right now because of high amounts of traffic.):

  • Grilled cheese
  • Steak taco
  • Corona lime
  • Lobster bisque
  • Movie theater popcorn
  • Fried egg and bacon
  • Greek yogurt with dill
  • Pistachio
  • Cinnamon toast

Readers: How often do you post ideas to a company’s Facebook page? Do they ever respond or use your ideas?

Images courtesy of Lay’s Facebook page.