Monday, January 12, 2009

Crowd Clout

The online grouping of citizens/consumers for a specific cause, be it political, civic or commercial, aimed at everything from bringing down politicians to forcing suppliers to fork over discounts.”

It looks like the home furnishings industry could be among the next to get clouted. lets consumers collectively tell manufacturers which fpieces of furniture they want produced and then purchase them direct at near-factory prices.

Here’s how it works: Each week Paris-based Myfab posts a catalog of items that are available for voting, inviting members of the site to indicate the ones they like best. Those that win the most votes get put into production and become available for purchase through the site.
The Good Stuff: Myfab's prices can be as much as 70 percent lower since no middleman is involved. Consumers who voted for an item during its pre-production phase get an additional 10 percent off. Shoppers get a one week trial period to decide if they really like what they bought. In addition to furniture, Myfab also offers products in fashion, accessories, sports equipment and watches using the same crowd-based voting models. Could blind and shades be next?
Where: Myfab ships to France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and the UK. Delivery takes 9 weeks on average, and consumers can follow an item's progress online each step of the way.
The Threat: Well, between design transparency and crowd clout companies are running out of places to hide; so if you're not listening to what your crowd is saying be prepared!
What's the opportunity?

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