Branding and imagery are important to every business, and dental practices are no different. Up until a couple of years ago, a dental practice would develop its own unique design by hiring either an individual graphic designer or an agency. But in the last couple of years, practices have increasingly turned to online crowdsourcing platforms for their design solutions.
Crowdsourcing is a model where problems are presented to the public and an open call for solutions is then made. The public — or the crowd — then submits solutions to these problems. The person who contributes the solution is rewarded with a prize, money, or recognition.
One example of a successful arts project that utilized crowdsourcing is the 2011 documentary “Life in a Day.” The filmmakers put out a global call for submissions via YouTube, traditional media, and advertising, in which they asked the public for video footage. They received 4,500 hours of video from people in 192 countries. The filmmakers edited the footage and created a 97-minute documentary about a single day in the life of the world.
The model is also now regularly used for business solutions. At the end of April, consumer goods giant Unilever hosted a 24-hour, global online event called the Sustainable Living Lab on its Open Innovation website. The idea was to crowdsource new ideas across consumer behavior change, sustainable sourcing, production, and distribution. The reward was to make a difference in people’s lives and money from Unilever if they used your idea.
MycroBurst.com is a crowdsourcing platform for graphic design. It has over 35,000 designers from around the world who respond to clients’ briefs with design ideas. Businesses of all different types and sizes come to MycroBurst for design solutions, from universities, to government agencies, to small startups. Dental practices are some of the most active clients.
The company has a simple “how-to” video on its home page, and after clients fill out their creative brief, designers then submit designs for consideration. Contests are run for seven days, and at the end of the contest, the client chooses a winning logo, the designer of the winning logo gets paid, and the client is the proud new owner of a custom-designed logo — and prices for logos start at an affordable $199!
Dental practices that use MycroBurst are finding crowdsourcing to be an excellent solution for their branding needs. Todd A. Bickling, DMD, and Victoria S. Yu, DDS, are in the process of launching their first branch of Strong Smiles Dental Care in Annapolis, Md., so they needed a logo for their new practice.
Dr. Bickling explains, “I have tried other online logo designers in the past, and although they did a fine job, my logo options were limited. I came across Mycroburst.com through a search engine. After clicking on the link, I watched the introductory video and I thought, ‘What the heck. I can name the cost, and I can potentially get dozens of different logos? What's to lose?’
“Getting started was pretty simple. It only took a few minutes to fill out the questionnaire about what I was looking for. Within 30 minutes, I got an email on my iPhone saying that my first logo submissions were ready to be seen. This was very exciting! Soon, more logos came pouring in. My partner, Dr. Yu, and I decided which designs we liked. The designers were very easy to work with. I would contact them through the website with suggestions on how they could improve and change their logo designs. They were very responsive and friendly. I would have new versions within minutes or hours of contacting them.
“Dr. Yu and I finally chose our logo because we wanted something modern and clean to reflect the type of dentistry we perform. We wanted something that would stand out on a lighted sign so people driving by our office would notice not only the design, but the colors.”
Orest G. Bauer, DMD, is the owner of Bauer Dental Arts in New York City. He is using the logo he crowdsourced for his practice signage, website, business cards, and stationery.
Says Bauer of his MycroBurst experience: “I found out about Mycroburst.com via a dental forum. The idea of crowdsourcing sounded very appealing because I didn't want to be limited to just one graphic designer's ideas for my new dental practice logo. I received multiple high quality drafts from different designers that I was able to rate or eliminate from the contest. I especially like the option of sharing the drafts via Facebook for feedback from friends and family.
“Consequently, we ran two more contests to design business cards and a website template using the originally conceived logo. We have received multiple compliments from our patients regarding the design, which we feel accurately conveys the persona of our practice.”
Check out www.mycroburst.com for more information on crowdsourcing great design, and who knows? Perhaps this model could work for providing solutions to other dental practice needs!
Michelle Lewis is the director of communications at MycroBurst.com. She also works as a freelance journalist, and is a former editor at TIME, Entertainment Weekly, and Architecture magazines. She is proud to say that she does not have a single cavity.