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(updated) rivalry! A Competitive Challenge Network to Spark Business Growth and City Spirit

While everyday consumers use Facebook or Yelp to rate and review businesses and products... rivalry! is a business network used to challenge competitors, and employees, while energizing a city to fight for better ratings and being the best.

Photo of Mei Hsieh
14 11

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People thrive on competition, so why not bring competitive edge back into a city's social network and economic sphere? Similar to supporting their NFL football team, rivalry! is a way for citizens and businesses to get just as excited to support their local economies. This concept will help keep small businesses competitive by increasing business or fundraising hype, and will spark a more meaningful connection within the community. For example, if an Italian restaurant in Detroit were to challenge one in Cincinnati, they would need to rally more of the community to 'vote' on their restaurant (by checking in or rating it on sites like Yelp or Facebook ). If Detroit kept winning challenges, they would be recognized as one of the best Italian Restaruants in the Midwest, or could even compete nationally. This celebrates the idea that businesses and organizations are cultural ambassadors that represent the success of their city. The business winners of these challenges would be help validate that the city is still competitive and has something amazing to offer.

Challenge examples:
city vs. city
While originally, this idea was to feed competition between different cities, I am now agreeing that it is best to start these competitions within the city.
 I.E. What if food businesses on a street could pool money together to sponsor a mural to be put up on their street. They could challenge High schools to compete for the spot. 

 If City v. City were to happen, it would be great to harness community challenges... i.e. who can change a vacant lot into the most beautiful design center... City government could pay money to enter... and the winner would receive prize money to start the projects. 

business A vs. business B
1. An Italian restaurant owner in Detroit wants to increase it’s foot traffic and online popularity.
2. They launch a challenge against another Italian restaurant in Cincinnati
3. If the challenge is accepted, both Italian restaurants would increase advertising, offer discounts to customers, and would press for more customer ratings and reviews.
4. The restaurant with the highest average reviews, and the most customers would win the challenge.
5. They could repeat the challenge against other restaurants based on their region (midwest), or even nationally.

corporate office 1 vs. corporate office #2
1. A business i.e. Steelcase can challenge it’s several offices throughout the company to decrease their carbon footprint (or tutor kids, or come up with a creative process)
2. The office with the most positive impact, gets a free lunch, bonus or some kind of reward.

Other Rules
Consumer Ratings: Consumers who review and rate more restaurants online would get a weighted vote, and could sway the voting decision. 

Reset your record: The challenge title could be reset every year. So Businesses that lost would have another chance to be rivalry! winners.

Collaborating with other networking sites:  
when linked to a facebook location- a history of all the challenges that have been won in that city would pop up. (It would be similar to giving your city it's own facebook page)

Yelp/ Foursquare:
Users could see compare their favorite restaurants nationally. 
-They could receive discounts/ specials for the more reviews that they gave to a restaurant

Combining kickstarter and groupon!
-Users can donate to competitors they want to support more.... Businesses could offer discounts/ rewards/coupons to those users/consumers that bring more friends, or rate and review more...
-Companies can advertise on the site... the money for advertising could feed the prize money for competitions. 

What resources (money, time, people, technology, etc) will your concept need to be successful?

Time - Just like any networking site, this concept would require time to develop and improve the services linking consumers to businesses, or employees to their business. People - In order to be truly successful, it would also be necessary to utilize and connect to the success of other social networks such as Facebook, Foursquare, or Yelp. - A competitive community that is willing to vote and represent their city. -Businesses that were are scared to take on challenges and test themselves Money - Businesses could advertise on the website/ offer special deals to consumers -Businesses can advertise on the side panel- this could help fund prize mone. Technology - Consumers may need their smart phones to check-in, or review/rate certain businesses. -Connecting by way of internet, businesses must be willing to take the time to understand the latest technology.

What steps could you take to implement this idea today?

I would implement this idea very small, and see how the program works within one city. Have challenges run even from city neighborhoods - west side vs. east side. (i.e. Cincinnati West side chili vs. Cincinnati East Side Chili) See how consumers react to this idea of growing and rewarding a local, cutting-edge competitive business. See if it actually unites consumers, and makes them proud of their community! If more and more consumers participate, it will feed more money into the local economy, and will inspire businesses to keep improving, and fighting to be the best, or do even better.

How can your idea be scaled so that it's implemented in cities around the world?

rivalry! could really happen anywhere. I am now really understanding that the best results would first have to start small and continue to grow. I think a beta site could be implemented first within a city such as Detroit. Other cities around the world could learn from the beginning stages and launch their own challenges that would play to their cities' strengths. Competition is part of the human condition and can be seen anywhere in the world. Although international sports are represented by the Olympics, and international economies are competitive in the world market, we can use rivalry! as a game to revitalize cities that may become overlooked.

My Virtual Team

Rebekah Emanuel, Nathan Akers, Natalie Grillon
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Rivalry Challenge Examples


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Photo of Nathan Waterhouse

Congratulations Mei, great concept - I can't wait to see what this might become!

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