"I Like You a Latte," "Let Freedom Ring," and "Nut N' Fancy" are just three of the 12 donut finalists competing in Dunkin' Donuts' 2nd annual interactive "Create Dunkin's Next Donut" contest.

The user-generated product competition last year produced impressive digital metrics. The campaign drew 130,000 online contestants, three million Facebook impressions, created 330,000 donut ideas, and tallied an average online engagement time of nine minutes. For Dunkin' Donuts, the contest proved to be an excellent example of crowdsourcing.   

User-generated product design campaigns like Dunkin' Donuts' are attracting interest as companies see the value of leveraging these online "mass influencers," as Groundswell author and Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff calls them. At the Forrester Consumer Marketing Forum in April, Bernoff reported that mass influencers account for 80 percent of the impressions in social media. "It's important to recognize that you need to listen to what they are saying," Bernoff says.