Target’s inside app continually crowdsources design ideas
Target has quietly launched an invite-only “Studio Connect” app to enable designers to gather feedback from Target’s customers.
According to Fast Company, Studio Connect gives Target’s designers a way to explore ideas with the limited number of Target’s customers — approximately 600 on average — engaged with the app. The members can be segmented into subgroups, such as those with kids. A recent question posed on the Instagram-like feed, according to the report, read, “Mother’s Day is this weekend, if you could design a shirt with a message that celebrated how awesome moms are, what would it say?”
Designers tend to receive about 40 to 50 responses within 24 hours. Insights from the Mother’s Day query were used to come up with t-shirt slogans for next year’s holiday. For Target, Studio Connect helps designers gain feedback at various points in the creation process, and more quickly than with traditional methods, such as surveys or focus groups.
Customers participating earn points toward discounts and gift cards and can often try products early. But the main incentive is seeing their ideas come to life on Target’s selling floors. Customers are recruited via online research and receipt polls and have to be invited to join.
A job description on Target’s website describes Studio Connect as “a community of Target guests and designers working together to build purpose-driven owned brands and human-centric products and experiences. The trust and relationships created through Studio Connect continue to open up new opportunities to learn from and with our guests and is redefining how our teams put people first in all we do.”
Crowdsourcing efforts, whereby consumers weigh in on a product’s design, were initially led by startups, but have been used in recent years by Coke, Doritos, REI and others to brainstorm product or marketing ideas. But whereas most other campaigns are a one-off, Target is crowdsourcing its continual feedback process.
Writing for Business Insider, Gregory Magana said Studio Connect could be used to improve localization efforts. “Expanding it by selecting new users based on potential store locations could allow Target to get a clear perspective on what specific areas want from a store and how customer preferences differ between locations,” he wrote.
- Target has a secret app for superfans, and it looks like Instagram – Fast Company
- sr. front-end developer – studio connect – Target Jobs
- Crowdsourcing Opens Up Fashion Brands – The Wall Street Journal
- REI Is Crowdsourcing Its Design Process – Outside
- A new Target app connects customers to the design team – Business Insider
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the “Studio Connect” app a win-win for Target’s designers and participating customers? How would you rate crowdsourcing as a mechanism for design inspiration and feedback?