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Heineken, the familiar Dutch beer in the green bottle, is celebrating its 140th birthday this year, and it's doing so by continuing to be one of the leading global brands to embrace crowdsourcing and co-creation.
Recently, I spoke with Mark van Iterson, head of global design at Heineken, about the company's "Remix our Future" contest to crowdsource a design for a new Heineken bottle for the anniversarry, as well as its co-created concept club that debuted at Design Week in Milan and the company's dedication to crowdsourcing in general.
You can listen to my full conversation with van Iterson or download the "From the Crowd" podcast below, or scroll down for more details:
Heineken isn't a newbie in the crowdsourcing world. The 140th anniversarry bottle design contest is actually the second time the company will reach out to fans for some help with its product design. Heineken's "Your Future Bottle" challenge yielded this winning design, which went on sale in December 2012.
But Heineken's embracing of crowdsourcing is more than just the "crowdsurfacing" we sometimes refer to on this site -- campaigns that claim to crowdsource, but really just offer traditional contest models that do nothing to truly tap the power and wisdoms of crowds, ushering them behind the corporate curtain. The company's committment to opening itself up and engaging is evident in one of its other tools, an "Ideas Brewery" portal that gives fans and the public a virtual seat in the board room to give input on things like sustainable packaging and new concepts targeted at consumers over 60.
The final judging for the bottle design contest currently underway will be judged at Design Week in Milan this year, where Heineken will again be present.
van Iterson says that crowdsourcing makes sense for Heineken, a company that considers itself progressive and with a focus on design as a key part of its tradition, dating back to being the first to go green in the bottle.
"It fits the brand and the mentality of the brand so well. In our core we are progressive and creative."
van Iterson points to one of Heineken's slogans as further proof: "Open your world."
Further, van Iterson told me that asking the crowd for help provides a gateway into minds of consumers, the holy grail for many a brand.
"It is a way to dial up creativity and excitement... We learn a lot and get a lot of insights... it really keeps us in touch with our consumer."
Heineken's future bottle contest is live in Facebook and can be reached at http://www.yourfuturebottle.com/.
Disclosure: Heineken is a client of crowdsourcing.org / massolution.