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"You design it, we make it."
We've talked a lot about co-creation can change the game even for highly successful companies. One of the most iconic examples of co-creation in action is the story of LEGO – a company that turned plastic bricks into a global phenomenon by harnessing the collective creativity of both its employees and its customers. Co-creation is the foundation of LEGO's success.
LEGO's journey towards becoming a household name began in 1932 when Ole Kirk Christiansen founded the company in Denmark. The name 'LEGO' is derived from the Danish words "leg godt," which mean "play well." From the very beginning, Christiansen's vision was rooted in creating a platform for children to express their creativity and imagination through play.
Step 1: Employee Engagement
LEGO's co-creation journey started with its employees. The company recognized that fostering a culture of innovation required involving its own workforce in the creative process. LEGO encouraged its employees to experiment with new designs and ideas, often leading to the development of new products and innovative building techniques. This approach not only empowered employees but also paved the way for a culture of continuous improvement and co-creation.
Step 2: Customer Collaboration: The Birth of "LEGO Ideas"
In as early as 2008, LEGO launched "LEGO Ideas", a platform that allowed fans to submit their own designs for potential LEGO sets. The designs would be voted on by the LEGO community, and those receiving enough support would be considered for production.
LEGO Ideas truly exemplifies co-creation in action. It transformed passionate LEGO enthusiasts into active participants in the creation of new products. By giving a voice to its customers, LEGO not only gained insights into what its audience desired but also built a loyal and engaged community.
Step 3: Creative Partnerships
Co-creation extended beyond the LEGO Ideas platform through partnerships with popular franchises, such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Marvel. Collaborating with other brands allowed LEGO to tap into existing fan bases and co-create products that combined the essence of both brands. This approach expanded LEGO's reach and made its products even more desirable to a broader audience.
The story of LEGO's co-creation journey is a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and community engagement. By embracing co-creation with its employees, customers, and partners, LEGO transformed itself from a humble toy company into a global phenomenon that fosters creativity and imagination in people of all ages. The LEGO story serves as an inspiration for businesses worldwide, reminding us that the path to success is often paved by those who build and create together.