Sometimes the best man for the job is a crowd. There has been a recent stir in the Jewish community over a new gourmet market opening on Main Street in Kew Garden Hills. The new supermarket will be replacing an existing market, and the owner, Mayer Gold, has the daunting task of creating a new identity for the store, one that presents a clear shift from the way that supermarkets are traditionally run.
When creating a corporate identity, the first step is to decide who you want to be. What are you offering that will make your store the one that people choose to do their shopping in. The second step, and often the hardest one, is creating an identity for the store that tells the story of what makes this supermarket different than any other. The story is traditionally told using targeted advertising, radio spots and such, but ultimately, any new business needs a good name. It was with this task in hand, that Gold decided to forgo the expensive Madison avenue marketing firms and their polished wordsmiths, and look to the public for a name, in what is being called the first major crowd-sourcing experiment in NY’s Jewish community.
Created with the intention of viral dissemination, a contest has been publicized, that offers the public an opportunity to suggest a name for the new supermarket, and if their entry is selected, the winner will receive a years worth of free groceries for their creativity.
Gold says that NameYourSupermarket.com has already received over 2,000 potential names for it’s supermarket. “We are experimenting with the concept of allowing our business model to be dictated to us by our customers” he said in a telephone interview today, “It starts with crowd-sourcing the name, and then builds from there until the ultimate finished store is furnished in a manner that will be pleasing to the public, stocked with the items that customers request, and offered at prices that our feedback tells us is fair and competitive.”
Turning to a crowd instead of an individual for creative ideas and strategies is not a novel concept. In his best-seller “Making Ideas Happen,”. author Scott Belsky reveals many of the ‘secrets’ of creative professionals. He is a huge advocate of the idea that creatives become successful, and ideas are well developed, when they are born in environment of collaborators.
It will be interesting to see how this social experiment works out for the Queens supermarket.
Shakespeare’s character Juliet famously asked “What’s in a name?” In the case of one Kosher supermarket in Queens, the answer to that question is a team of people, over 2,000 strong, putting their best creative effort forward.