Affinity groups have been around for some time in forward thinking companies. But now some of these companies are taking Affinity Groups to a new level: they are using them to crowdsource new products and services.
Consider Best Buy: While sales in 2009 accounted for roughly 22% of U.S. consumer electronics sales, its share of sales to women was just 16%.
Solution: Best Buy leveraged its Women’s Leadership Forum, composed of female Best Buy employees and female Best Buy customers plus a network of teenage girls to suggest new ways to sell to women.
As the Wall Street Journal recently reported:
The suggestions from these groups led to local businesswomen advising on retail strategy, and while others helped female Best Buy workers balance family and work demands. Most recently, the effort spawned a network of teenage female consultants who help the retailer sell phones and videogames to young people… Mr. Dunn and other top Best Buy executives are now behind the idea, seeing it as a crucial way to even the field against Target Corp. and Wal-Mart, where executives have long called their target shopper she.
Bottom line, this strategy of using networks formed in Human Resources to crowdsource new ideas for sales is one of the many innovative approaches detailed in The 2020 Workplace, recently published by Harper Collins: The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today. Buy the book or visit our website for more info!
Share with us if your company is leveraging groups–especially female groups to source new ideas to grow the business. I want to hear from you.