April 17: LEGO fans co-creation of value by Vlada

In the Biotope Salon on April 21, 2016, Mr. Vlada Botoric, International Research Fellow of iii and PhD student of School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University Denmark gave a presentation “LEGO fans co-creation of value in the participatory playground,” some parts of his doctoral research.


The following is his own abstract.

Today’s business atmosphere could be described by the increasing competition that is driven by innovation and by inventions that come from outside the corporate doors (Weiers, 2014). Consumer behavior is rapidly changing, therefore the product lifecycle becomes shorter and companies are forced to a constant reinvention of their business models and communication strategies in order to capture attention and remain vital in the market.

Over the past fifteen years, research has viewed users as a component of various business models. Therefore, a user is viewed as a “content generator” (Plé, Lecoq, and Angot, 2010), not just a passive recipient. Consumers have specialized competencies and skills that companies are unable to match or even understand (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, Tapscott and Williams, 2006). The main objective of market-driven companies is developing and
sustaining relationships with their customers. This has led to a new shift in developing such relationship-marketing program, which involves creating, maintaining, and enhancing long-term relationships with customers for mutual benefit.

Using the example of LEGO fans and their practices related to a vast repertoire of activities, Vlada Botoric raises questions regarding the collaborative aspect of their brand engagement through their own practices and the LEGO Group activities directed to those activities.

The practices fans perform range from the most diverse creative expressions made in LEGO bricks or inspired by them, through self-organization into LEGO User Groups (communities of devoted users gathered under the brand name), to their engagement in digital platforms developed by the company. Theoretical links between fan culture and a set of corporate practices that seek to capture and exploit participatory culture (Jenkins et al. 2013, p. 48) are central to Vlada’s argument.

Since the LEGO Group profitably democratized relationship with its fans, Vlada brings closer the creative production of the LEGO fans through the lens of marketing theory.

The aim of the presentation was to provide more understanding of creative practices of fans, offering an insight from the fans’ perspective and business literature overview.


After his presentation, the discussion was focused on the balance between business and culture, or the relationship between business driven research and cultural research. The uniqueness of LEGO company among other industries was also discussed.

(Abstract: Vlada Bototoric, Comment: Shin Mizukoshi)

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