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Communispace, Scholastic Books Club Win Prestigious Social Media Award

Communispace, creator of online customer insight and innovation communities for some of the world's leading brands, and its clientScholastic Book Clubswere awarded a 2009Forrester Groundswell Award in the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Embracing category.

The Forrester Groundswell Awards recognize excellence in achieving business and organization goals with social technology applications. In this collaboration, Communispace and Scholastic Book Clubs created a private customer community to help make the popular Scholastic Book Clubs flyers even better.

This community, consisting of 200 teachers and 100 parents of children in grades K-6, helped Scholastic understand how the two groups think about book selection, which elements they find to be the most important and how they match children with the right books. The insights and ideas given directly by customers to Scholastic allowed the company to be confident and quick in making carefully-considered adjustments to its presentation in the Book Club flyer.

The co-creation project, utilizing a proprietary methodology developed by Communispace and conducted over a 10-week period, allowed Scholastic Book Clubs editors and designers to work directly with community members through a four-step process of exploration, ideation, prototype development and testing and, ultimately, production. By bringing parents and educators together at the very beginning of the project, Communispace and Scholastic Book Clubs created a collaborative environment where informed ideation resulted in actionable insights.

For example, Scholastic Book Clubs learned that, while parents and teachers share a desire to match children with age-appropriate books they love to read, each group differs in how they help children choose the right book. So while teachers view reading level as the "most important" factor when selecting a book; parents prefer to flip through the pages to get a feel for the subject matter; and children want books that are similar to something they've enjoyed in the past.

As a result, Scholastic Book Clubs made changes to its flyers to organize the books by reading level, in an open face layout showing a sample page from a book at each level, and with a recommendation section for books with a similar subject matter.

"For more than 60 years, Scholastic Book Clubs has worked with parents and teachers to help children learn to love to read," said Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Book Clubs.

"These groups have trusted us for generations and we wanted to incorporate their feedback directly into every stage of our redesign project. By teaming up with Communispace our editors and designers were given open access to parents' and teachers' thinking about kids and books, enabling us to truly bridge the gap between what teachers need and what parents want."

"The rapid prototyping of the new flyer--and the positive feedback it received--underscores the value of our collaborative approach to product design and innovation," said Diane Hessan, CEO of Communispace.

"Communispace is proud to have been a partner in this project and we're thrilled to have our achievements recognized by Forrester Research. We look forward to seeing the continued success of the Scholastic community and helping our clients drive business insights by tapping into the voices of their customers."

The Forrester Groundswell Awards support and recognize the principles outlined in the Forrester Research book Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Harvard Business Press, 2008). Winners are selected based on specific results demonstrating the successful use of social technologies to advance an organizational or corporate goal. More information about the Forrester Groundswell Awards is available here.

"Every year the quality of business social applications goes up, and marketers become more sophisticated," said Josh Bernoff, SVP, idea development at Forrester and coauthor of Groundswell.

"This year's winners stood out in a very competitive field; all of them demonstrate not just creative use of social technologies, but impressive, measurable results."

This year Communispace won an unprecedented two Forrester Groundswell Awards, bringing their total to four for the three years the awards program has been in existence. Communispace's 2009 Forrester Groundswell Award submissions can be found online here.
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