March 22

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Get Your Customers Involved

By David Millay

March 22, 2021


The best part about this new Lego set is that it was created by a fan.

I discovered Lego’s Ideas website today. It’s a community hub for Lego “superusers” to level up their passion and involvement with the brand. In a nutshell, users can submit their own designs and ideas for new Lego products. If their idea is turned into commercial production, the designer gets a small piece of the resulting sales.

The website has a few different components, but the part I felt most organizations with fans can adapt is the “Contests” aspect. Lego issues out a contest, or a theme that it wants superfans to crowdsource. One such theme might be something generic, like “SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR SPORTS BY USING – YUP YOU GUESSED IT – LEGO BRICKS!” or it may be specific like “HOW DO YOUR HOLIDAY STAR WARS™ SCENES LOOK?” 

The contest lists out the specs of what Lego is looking for; number range of pieces, specific design elements, entry deadlines, how the entries will be judged and qualified, etc. Members of the community then either build a design with real legos or design the set digitally and submit their entries. After members submit their designs, other members can make comments on the designs. When the design is chosen, the winners are awarded Lego specific prizes. 

The 10k club is the other area of the Ideas website I loved. Users can upload random product ideas, and users can “support” the idea, similar to a Kickstarter idea. It’s simply applying a crowdfunding concept to the world of Legos. If 10k+ people upvote the idea, Lego will take the concept under review, and decide whether or not it’s feasible to turn the design into a real project. Once it is, the designer gets a small piece of that revenue from the end product. 

It’s a great indication of where customer experience is headed.

Your biggest fans no longer want to passively consume the brands they love. They want to participate and help curate experiences of their own, for themselves, and for others to enjoy. Rather than leading with “how can we make more money from the customers who love us the most,” the thought is to lead with value creation. Lego has clearly asked the question, “how can we get superfans to become even bigger fans,” and the answer is to get them involved. 

The same applies to your customers. Think about the dialogue you have with your customers. Is it truly two-way communication? Are you merely providing updates and responding to their gripes on social media? Or are you inviting them to help shape the future of the organization they love so much? 

David Millay

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