Squadhelp is one of many companies that helps customers come up with business names, logos, and slogans through the power of crowdsourcing. I’m not proud to admit it, but I recently employed Squadhelp to brainstorm some names for my recent startup venture. While I didn’t end up using any of my crowd-sourced names, the experience was equal parts hilarious and infuriating.
To draw the “creatives” that provide the name ideas, Squadhelp holds contests that reward the winning entrant a minimum of $100, though the contest holder can up the ante if they feel the need. For the most basic package, Squadhelp charges contest holders $199 but the prices quickly go up as you add features and additional crowd reviews.
Once the contest is live, the thousands of self-proclaimed creatives can submit ideas and receive real-time feedback from the contest holder. This particular service encourages the contest holder to rank each submission on a scale of very happy smiley face to very sad frowny. To help guide the submissions more in line with what you’re after, you can tag each rejected idea with additional feedback like “too generic,” or “not a good fit for us,” with the hopes that the crowd will refine their ideation process. The creatives compete within a specific contest, but also are tracked on a “leaderboard” publicly, an interesting tool to incentivize continued, high quality participation.
But that’s where it falls apart. While a handful of submissions are well thought out and responsive to input, volume seems to be the name of the game. After being live for only a day, I quickly found myself weeding out names of businesses that already exist, explicit names that seemed to have been bot-generated, and some real winners like “WarmBelly Couture” or “Own My Human” (both real entries).
While a clever use of crowdsourcing, there are virtually no barriers to entry into this market – meaning price and quality of your creative community is your key differentiation factor. To that end, maintaining consistently superior quality is of key concern given the incentive for top tier creatives to multi-home and enter in competitions across all the platforms.
On the other hand, the growth potential is significant, as the company does a great job at extracting value from add-on products like domain name registrations, trademark searches and applications, and even going so far as to provide logo generation, slogan brainstorming, and focus groups – all available for extra charges.