Cash rewards are the most important element of openinnovation.me. We insist on cash rewards because they add respect and professionalism to the relationship that no other form of a reward can. For example, giving free products, samples, coupons, discounts is not appropriate in our opinion as a reward for innovation suggestions. And the brands we work with agree.
However, the dilemma is which innovations to reward. There are two main approaches:
Reward all work with a smaller rewards
Reward all innovations which satisfy the minimum requirements because of the work they required, and separately offer a much higher reward for exceptional innovations. For example, set an opportunity reward to 100 EUR and reward all innovations even if they do not cause change in your work. In this case you are rewarding the work of the innovator, not the idea. And, since you have the contact of the innovators, you can individually contact and reward exceptional innovations directly. This is a customer focused approach that builds the community.
Reward only the best innovations with high rewards
Ignore innovations which are not new to you, which do not surprise you or change your work, and reward only the innovations that do with much higher rewards. For example, offer a 2,000 EUR reward for a specific problem. This is an innovation focused approach that builds the product.
We recommend applying a range of rewards, so both minimum work and the top innovations are rewarded according to their value. It is not good to ignore innovations which do not work immediately because you can demotivate innovators. Maybe their later attempts can be more fruitful or their suggestions can make more sense in time.