Getting Over the Popularity Contest

 

image credit to marco digitalstream via flickr

image credit to marco digitalstream via flickr

Leveraging crowd wisdom works on the premise that individuals or organizations can benefit from a collective group of knowledge. One way to measure the crowds’ opinion is to present a subject or idea and invite the crowd to vote on it. If it’s popular, it rises to the top and could be considered a mandate from the crowd to follow-through on the suggestion. However, companies sometimes forget that voting is just one mechanism and not necessarily the whole truth that a crowd has to offer. Measuring ideas against business objectives, for example, or mining qualitative responses for themes or meaning can provide an even greater range of insight. Let’s consider a few popular ideas that don’t always equate to quality.

-The Macarena. In 1994, there was no school dance that escaped the Macarena. The song by Los del Río was an international hit in 1995, 1996, and 1997 and appears at number 7 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100. It also ranks at No. 1 on Billboard’s All Time Latin Songs. And despite the catchy hook and despite its insistent re-play, no one is arguing that the Macarena was a musical breakthrough or something that will remain a long-remembered achievement.

-Teflon. Despite the fact that the non-stick convenience continues to hold widespread traction in the market, it has also been warned against year after year by health organizations like the Environmental Working Group and Cancer.org. Let’s also talk about how it now stands in as a term for candidates who maintain their popularity no matter how many bad things they come up against. Rob Ford is a current popular example – “The Teflon Mayor.”

-The Twilight Saga. Let’s make no mistake – this film is at the height of “popular” which has yielded nearly $1.5 billion in ticket sales. However, in spite of its vast commercial success, both the substance and the literary craft of the novel have been criticized . No matter how long the story remains a phenomenon, it will never be regarded as a ranking piece of literature. Decision making (particularly business decision making) is an ongoing, rich, complex process that requires a lot of inputs (including an idea’s popularity). IdeaScale wants to ensure that successful innovators have more tactics to evaluate crowd information.

Join us for a complimentary webinar featuring IdeaScale’s Suzan Briganti, SVP of Strategy, as she introduces innovation analysis and its methods. Register today.

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