Crowdsourcing is a vehicle for innovation. By tapping into a “crowd” of of talented individuals, companies like Topcoder do more than deliver finished products and projects to businesses; we deliver optionality, speed, and quality. And recently, we did so for The Asor Collective, a fashion industry disruptor that helps entrepreneurs in the fashion space grow and strengthen their brands, products, and services while developing sustainable strategies and processes. They worked with GigScaler — a business that connects clients to crowdsourcing talent resources and platforms — to get unique, high-end design work done with Topcoder.
We spoke with both Genichi Kakefuda, Founder and CEO of our partner GigScaler, and Rosalinda Cruz, CEO and Principal Consultant of The Asor Collective, about client engagement, their experience with crowdsourcing, and the specific expectations and needs involved in digital design projects.
GigScaler gives clients access to a portfolio of crowdsourcing companies and their platforms. Genichi says, “Accessing complementary talent in a scalable manner through crowdsourcing provides companies agility, expanded scope, and diverse input in a cost-effective manner.” Today, GigScaler enables clients to tap into a talent pool of six million people across the gig economy.
There are three key things that make GigScaler unique and capable of creating great value to clients:
- Thorough client onboarding. GigScaler can ensure that the right problem is defined and configured well for crowdsourcing.
- Knowledge of the crowdsourcing landscape. Through extensive collaboration and experience running crowdsourcing challenges across a range of third-party platforms (including Topcoder), GigScaler knows which platform to tap for specific needs and the corresponding skills.
- End-to-end client engagement. This entails not only knowing how to avoid pitfalls, but also the ability to successfully manage clients through the entire process and enable winning outcomes.
“The combination of client engagement, robust problem definition, and understanding of the crowdsourcing platform ecosystem and best practices empowers clients to tap into the disruptive capabilities of the crowd,” Genichi says.
Digital, big data, and analytics expertise at Topcoder
Genichi has collaborated with Topcoder for more than six years, using our highly skilled network of designers, developers, and data scientists to help GigScaler’s clients address digital, big data, and analytics needs. “An organization would normally need to compete with Google, Facebook, and Microsoft to hire this type of talent, resulting in an expensive fixed cost,” he says. “A GigScaler client with digital needs will cost effectively access this talent pool on a gig basis through Topcoder. Collaborating with Topcoder enables GigScaler to provide expanded digital capability, agility, and competitiveness to businesses by accessing the right talent at the right time, for the required period of time, at the right price.”
Branding the fashion-forward Asor Collective
As for design-specific needs, GigScaler has used Topcoder for website and app UI design work, among other things. “I have tapped this community for banners, UIs, and other branding material,” Genichi says. And most recently, we’ve designed the logo and branding materials for GigScaler client The Asor Collective.
The goal was to develop a logo and branding material to help The Asor Collective further stand out and brand themselves effectively in the fashion world. The final deliverables included a logo (including variations of it in terms of color and a favicon for websites) and letterhead design, along with a branding promo pack and a branding guideline document with specifications such as color, font, and usage recommendations.
Brand guidelines: Logo specifications and application
At Topcoder, clients receive project management support from a dedicated copilot. In this case, the copilot was Topcoder Design Evangelist fajar.mln, who Genichi describes as “professional and very skilled at working with both The Asor Collective and GigScaler in translating objectives into specifications for the challenge.” Genichi says, “He was very responsive and managed the process seamlessly.” The crowdsourced design challenge ran for nine days on Topcoder, culminating in 34 total submissions. Designers went above and beyond in terms of creativity, showing not only logo designs, but also — in many cases — how they would look displayed on signs, t-shirts, letterhead, and other branded materials.
A more creative, customized, and fully vetted outcome for The Asor Collective
By using Topcoder’s design community, Rosalinda was able to review the designs and provide feedback. Genichi says, “A far more creative, customized, and vetted outcome was reached through the crowdsourcing approach. It enabled greater input and consideration from the client.”
From a branding perspective, Rosalinda says both GigScaler and Topcoder nailed her requirements from start to finish. “They both exceed my expectations!” she says. “Genichi was an amazing thought partner. He took the time to walk me through the process, carefully answer my questions, and provide clarity in communications with Topcoder — leading up to the preparation of the challenge brief. I was very impressed by the diversity of design submissions.”
Rosalinda says, “If you go to an agency, you get the work of one designer, or a handful at best. But after receiving 34 submissions from Topcoder, I had more accurate examples of what the final design could look like, and it allowed me to think of my brand in ways I hadn’t yet dreamed of.”
Asked if she’d work with us again, she says, “Absolutely! I felt like we worked as a team, and it always felt as though GigScaler and Topcoder had my best interests — and my brand’s best interests — at heart. As a small business owner, I’ve learned that many people can sell others on their products and services, but often fall short in the delivery. By working with Topcoder I mitigated a lot of the risk in the first phase of the design challenge, because I was able to review all of the design submissions right away. The process gave me a real sense of whether the designers understood and had the capacity to capture my vision. I could then decide whether I wanted to proceed, knowing I would receive a full refund if I didn’t like any of the designs. I will certainly work with both GigScaler and Topcoder again, and I very much look forward to our next project.”