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    Albert Boswijk

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    Creating Authentic Stories Tormod Askilsen

    Creating Authentic Stories And High Performing Products Using The Power Of The Crowd

    Published on Published onDecember 15, 2017

    Tormod Askildsen Senior Director LEGO

    Not a single day goes by without contemplating at the billions of creations that our fans build with LEGO® bricks. The thousands of fan-fueled ideas created every day, of which many are shared on the LEGO Ideas platform have made me wonder – what lies behind successful crowdsourcing – and I think it all comes down to four things.

    The LEGO Ideas crowdsourcing platform was first introduced as an experiment in Japan, under the name LEGO Cuusoo, in 2008 – it was before many others have tried such things. Since then, 19 of the ideas shared and supported by 10.000 people have become LEGO Ideas products, in collaboration between our awesome fan designers and our LEGO designers.

    The collective opinion of the crowd is a strong funnel for commercial potential. When this blends with the creative power of talented people, great designs and ideas start emerging. So, what have we learned so far about crowdsourcing?

    1. Find something people are passionate about

    Embrace it, and then do your best to turn it into reality.

    Let’s take our latest LEGO Ideas set as an example: LEGO® Ideas - Women of NASA.

    Maia Weinstock, the fan designer behind it, is the deputy editor at MIT News, she is passionate about technology, space exploration and promoting gender equality. Also, a passionate LEGO builder, a hobby she has continued since childhood. It’s all these things put together, that inspired her to come up with the idea and story for the set – which happened to ‘take-off’ and become best-selling toy on Amazon in 24 hours after launch.

    Looking back to any of the other LEGO Ideas sets launched, you will find similar examples of passions turned into reality, with a meaningful story behind each set.

    The LEGO brick is a language to express ideas and tell stories, and there are billions of ideas to be shared and stories to be told. This element of truly endless possibilities is what fascinates LEGO fans of all ages.

    2. Create engagement beyond just the ‘winners’

    A true community is one where members support and engage with each other. Of course, winning is a great thing, we all like it! But a strong and effective crowdsourcing community is united around a clearly defined purpose – whether it’s creativity, innovation, arts, or business, strong meaning will always make it stand out.

    There’s something truly special about play and creativity, which unites LEGO fans. It’s all about churning ideas, challenging each-other, and realizing the true potential of the LEGO brick – constantly building and re-building.

    It’s the authentic need to play and build together, which keeps fans engaged, and ultimately, enabling them to constantly disrupt and re-invent ideas and stories.

    3. Celebrate creative expression

    What’s the first thing most of us do after coming up with a creative idea? It’s probably posting it on social media…or one way or another, let our family, friends or the world know about it.

    Recognizing contribution of creative ideas on a crowdsourcing platform is key to driving engagement and innovation.

    And when LEGO bricks are involved, we know that creativity has no limits, because everything you build is right. So, the pride of creation becomes something worth celebrating every time. Our fan recognition extends further than the LEGO Ideas platform itself, as we engage and celebrate their creations across a variety of social platforms.

    Another key part of recognizing creativity is also about acknowledging that the sum of LEGO fans’ creativity is greater than ours. Their passion and their creative minds put together is something we cannot match. After all, we keep saying that with LEGO bricks, you have endless building possibilities – they prove it to us every day.

    4. Incentivize beyond applause

    We live in a world where instant gratification thrones above everything else. With this constant What’s In It For Me mindset, effective incentive mechanisms are needed now, more than ever.

    With the LEGO Ideas platform, the process is quite straight-forward: our creative fan crowds get the first say in what ideas go forward. Each idea submitted is being evaluated by fans, not just with a mere vote or like, but through a carefully-crafted survey. This way, fans are both in control of what gets selected, and they get real-time feedback from their peers on how their idea is doing.

    Once that is done, ideas which have gathered at least 10.000 supporters are being evaluated by our LEGO Review Board, and once the set is produced and sold, our fan Designers both get the recognition they deserve and a financial benefit based on sales performance.

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    In the LEGO Group, we are passionate about creativity, storytelling and fans of all ages with a child-like curiosity and boldness inside them. LEGO Ideas carries a strong testimony for us that people’s ideas and the collective opinion of the crowd can yield powerful stories and can also deliver great products. The LEGO Ideas community is open to all teen and adult LEGO users (age limit 13+).

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