As you know, LEGO® Ideas has always been the one-stop shop where you can pitch your ideas for new LEGO sets to the LEGO Group - and that's still going strong. But historically, whenever you've had a great idea that fell outside the scope of creating a new LEGO set we couldn't really help you out. This is why I'm glad to share the news of the LEGO Lead User Lab that has been set up to address radical new ideas driven by "lead users" (or in other terms - super fans).
Find out more about this open innovation project where the LEGO Group aims to identify, evaluate and mature new ideas.
The Lead User Lab was set up in August and the last three months have been super exciting and the team has been running at full speed. They've set up a pilot team, started the first round of ideas intake, attended AFOL events at Skærbæk, Denmark and BrickCon, Seattle, and held the very first pitching session.
Here are 7 questions the Lead User Lab thought you might be curious about. But feel free to ask other questions in the comments below:
1. What is Lead User Lab?
It's a 2-year pilot project that will be a testbed and incubator for innovative new businesses driven by lead users, that expand the LEGO brand. In it, they'll co-create and collaborate with the business owner (the lead user) and keeping the AFOL community front and center.
2. Why have we set up the Lead User Lab?
We want to establish a systematic process to identify, evaluate and mature lead users' ideas and creativity and maximize that value. We believe there's a unique opportunity to co-create and pick up very early ideas and market trends and start developing pilots that will successfully build on the LEGO brand and on what the AFOL community wants.
3. How does the Lead User Lab work?
We're putting the AFOL community’s interest and the lead user front and center, to test an innovation value chain untested in a systematic way before in the LEGO Group – exploring structured ways to bring in outside ideas at an early stage and finding ways to scale them. Think of it as partly incubator, partly accelerator, but with a LEGO twist.
We will run an on-going, highly focused and selective idea intake process to ensure the most relevant and high potential ideas are selected for pilots. Then in a collaborative process with the idea owner (the lead user) we'll stretch and incubate it, exploring ways to maximize the value. Then we'll run pilots, to explore if, how and where the idea can be scaled, then act on it. It does mean we'll have to make focused choices at all stages of the process - we see it as an innovation wheel constantly spinning out potential, shaping and re-shaping ideas, while finding ways to add value to the brand and to the lead user and community.
4. Who is Lead User Lab for?
It's for all creative and entrepreneurial LEGO minds out there - the lead users - who spot early trends and market needs way before anybody else, and act on them. The ideal lead user candidate already has a well crystallized idea/prototype and has even tested it out as an individual business, and is eager to collaborate and co-create with us, to explore incubation, piloting and potential scaling.
5. What ideas are we looking for?
We'll be focusing on new-to-the-company ideas and will go beyond the typical LEGO products. The type of ideas we're looking to incubate, and pilot can be new experiences, services, channels, audiences/targets groups, all which in some way expand the LEGO brand and add value to the AFOL community.
6. Do LEGO Ideas sets qualify for the Lead User Lab?
We will not focus on standard LEGO sets in the Lead User Lab. LEGO Ideas is a fantastic platform that does that already, leveraging fan ideas and turning them into LEGO products. While LEGO Ideas is great at building on that core of the LEGO building system, the Lead User Lab will focus on what lies beyond that –new ideas of experiences, services, channels, or target audiences. Also, worth mentioning, Lead User Lab is not a competitor of LEGO Ideas as the focus is different.
7. How can you submit an idea to the Lead User Lab?
We are open to intake ideas in two ways: an intake portal where lead users can submit ideas - coming soon! At the same time, the Lead User Lab team will be scouting to find cool ideas and Lead Users who have already developed a prototype/have an established business and are eager to co-create on taking their idea to the next level.
Do you want to help the Lead User Lab better understand your interests? They're currently curious to explore your interests in several areas (jewelry, lights and customisation) and therefore hope you'll be able to spend a little bit of your time to answer this survey.
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