Try tapping into the brainpower of your customers or partners, and see what ideas arise. Collective wisdom is one of the great beauties of the Internet.
Summary: Four useful tools for building your own “innovation community,” wherever they may be.
Bulbstorm - Its innovation tools are closely tied in with social media, making it a good fit for any small business that’s active in the social media space. You can post your own ideas (“bulbs”) and get feedback, or reach out to innovators in your industry to get their ideas. Basic access to Bulbstorm is free and you can create micro-communities for your employees, customers or other partners to collaborate securely with private-group settings and idea-sharing controls that protect your confidentiality and intellectual property.
Big Idea Group - uses its existing innovation community, the Insight Club, to come up with insights on the issues facing your business. The group can help you identify problems with existing products, services or programs; pinpoint innovation opportunities; and evaluate and refine proposed innovations. Once you’ve finally got the big idea, Big offers a Rapid Review program that lets you get consumers’ opinions on a new concept or product in just a few days.
Rightnow - offers a wide range of business services focused on the customer experience, enables you to create your own online innovation community to involve your customers in coming up with ideas for your business. The service takes advantage of the fact that your customers are increasingly knowledgeable about products and services and increasingly picky about what they want—so if you’re developing new products or services, why not go straight to the source to get ideas?
Chaordix - handles crowdsourcing of ideas from start to finish, including developing a crowdsourcing plan, recruiting your crowd, moderating the process and providing technology that enables collaboration and innovation. Crowds can be used to help your business with everything from idea creation to problem-solving and product testing.
Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN