Let’s talk about Lego Ideas. Whenever I work with companies on designing customer advocacy or brand ambassador programs, I always stress the need to incorporate customer feedback into the program. Members of any type of advocacy or ambassador program are hand-raisers. They are your most passionate customers, and they feel a sense of ownership in your brand, and want to see it succeed. So they will happily provide your brand will plenty of feedback on what it’s doing right, what it’s doing wrong, and what it could be doing.
That’s why I love what Lego does with it’s Lego Ideas program. This is an initiative where Lego customers submit ideas for future playsets. Other customers can then vote on and provide feedback on each idea. Submissions that are popular enough, go to market.
Other brands have tried similar programs, such as Starbucks My Starbucks Idea or Dell’s Ideastorm, and it’s always a big win for the brand and its customers.
Why is Lego Ideas a good idea?
In short, Lego Ideas gives Lego a way to let its customers design new products for the brand. Take this submission for the creation of a playset for the Nautilus from Jules Verne’s book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. First, everyone can rate the submission and leave comments. This means Lego can get detailed feedback from its customers on what they like and dislike about the submission. If Lego decides to eventually make the set, it can make the set incorporating the feedback it received from customers.
Additionally, if the set ever makes it to market, Lego has a ready-made customer base ready to buy the set. Also, if Lego does decide to produce a submission, 1% of the royalties from the set go to the designer. Not a bad deal, and this gives fan designers an extra incentive to submit ideas.
The Power of Giving Ownership to Your Most Passionate Customers
Lego Ideas works because Lego understands the connection that its most passionate customers have with the brand. Customers with high degrees of loyalty to your brand often view themselves as owners of your brand. They view it as THEIR brand as much as it is yours! So these passionate customers will act in what they perceive to be the best interest of the brand. Their brand.
Lets say you just purchased a brand’s product for the first time. So far, it’s been a pretty meh experience for you. Not a great product, not a terrible one.
What if, tomorrow, a product manager calls you and invites you to join a product design program for the brand. Where you will be required to submit new product ideas, then spend the next 6-12 months promoting and engaging with other customers about the product, fleshing out the design and creating a model that’s ready to go to market. The brand will then take your idea to market, and give you 1% of the royalties.
What would be your response? You’d probably tell the brand to take a flying leap, right?
But what if this was a brand you adored? A brand you evangelized to all your friends, buying every new product the brand offers. If that brand, which you are insanely loyal to, offered you a chance to join a program like Lego Ideas, how would you react? You would probably jump at the chance, right?
Customers that are loyal to a brand want more ways to be involved with the brand in all facets, from product design, to product feedback, to product promotion.
They want a program like Lego Ideas. And that’s why it’s a winner.