The LEGO Group is opening up the doors of the Creative Play Lab in a new approach to innovation.
For years, the LEGO Group has developed new concepts and innovations behind closed doors. Now, the Billund based business has announced “a new strategic approach that will help foster open innovation and test ideas and concept experiences through pilot projects”.
The first product test to be announced as part of the new program is LEGO FORMA, but a series of pilots will run over the next 12 months. These will vary in format and delivery, but will be designed to “float new ideas, crowdsource others, and receive real-time feedback”. That engagement will then determine whether the projects will be developed further and scaled up, or canned.
It is hoped that this transparent approach to product development will minimise risks and validate promising ideas. This has proven fruitful in the past, with LEGO Architecture and LEGO Ideas involving outside influence and becoming long-running LEGO success stories. Less successful projects such as LEGO Fusion and LEGO Universe are examples of failures that had less fan involvement, that the company no doubt wishes to avoid.
In the announcement, the LEGO Group also notes that this new process intends to “fast-track the time that new products go to market and not least to pave way for unique product launches that sit outside normal procedures and reach new audiences.” This is reflected in the LEGO FORMA images showing adults carefully applying fish decals to Technic elements, which is as far from the typical LEGO child putting System bricks together as possible.
“Continuing to push our innovation approach means nurturing ideas that we don’t always know the outcome of, encouraging risk-taking and finding new exiting ways to launch products that are a bit different compared to what you would normally see from the LEGO Group,” said Tom Donaldson, Vice President of LEGO Creative Play Lab.
For this first product trial, the LEGO Group is collaborating with crowdfunding website Indiegogo to test the viability of LEGO FORMA.