Over the past years I have been invited to speak at many conferences about consumer-centered innovation methods, and how we at the LEGO Group tap into our community of fans when developing new products. There is an increasing interest in this subject, as companies realise that it is often especially lead users who are significant innovators and are able to articulate opportunities and unmet needs better than many others. However, although recognising the value of these innovators, companies struggle to understand which approach to use when, and how to balance the opportunities highlighted by lead users with the needs of a broader audience of users.
This essay explains the thinking and methodology I have worked to define at the LEGO Group. It provides a framework for thinking about user-centered innovation and which consumer groups to involve when, as well as how to assess the company innovation portfolio to identify the areas where consumer driven or user-centered innovation can add the most value.
Originally I wrote this essay as part of my TRIUM EMBA program and have been told it will be featured as a case study on the executive marketing and business courses at HEC Paris. In the interest of moving the debate further on this subject I wanted to also share the essay here on my blog, and welcome your thoughts and reflections on this. I have licensed it under Creative Commons so you are welcome to use it for non-commercial purposes if you reference it and also share your writings. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Download it here:
Consumer Driven: The role of Consumer Affinity in selecting Consumer-centered innovation methods at the LEGO Group. by Cecilia Weckström is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.