Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Usually when we think about LEGO bricks, we think of children playing, creating, building, and think about the times when we were playing with LEGOs as kids. At the beginning of the millennium, LEGO presented the idea that LEGO bricks can be used for serious work, bringing the whole story of LEGO bricks to a higher level. They internally developed the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) methodology, which enables individuals and groups of people to boost their creativity, imagination, expression, and to connect with others in a richer, more dynamic, more visual and more tangible way. In its essence, LSP is entertaining, but ultimately it is far more serious than play.
In the Adriatic region, the first to apply LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) methodology was VALICON, and this was the occasion for our conversation with Zenel Batagelj, partner in VALICON, and Jaka Oman, Branding & LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® expert at VALICON.
Media Marketing: First of all, what are brand archetypes, and what is LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®?
Zenel Batagelj: In our branding process, which has been widely used in the region over the past years, we use archetypes for brand development. We try to look at a brand as a person – but not just any person. Brands are defined by specific archetypes that consumers simply recognize and connect with more easily. Archetypes are perceptions of people which exist in our subconscious since birth. They are universal to all people regardless of race and culture. They are considered a common psychological heritage. This is something that naturally applies to all of us. It is a universal way in which we see certain characters that are part of the lives of all people, such as guardians, rulers, heroes, mentors, followers, storytellers … which are just some of the existing archetypes.
Jaka Oman: At the beginning of the millennium, LEGO presented the idea that LEGO bricks can be used for serious work, elevating the whole story of LEGO bricks to a higher level. They internally developed the methodology called LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP), enabling individuals and groups of people to boost their creativity, imagination, expression, and to connect with others in a richer, more dynamic, more visual and more tangible way. In its essence, LSP is entertaining, but ultimately, it is far more serious than mere playing.
In the year 2010, the method became available to the community under the creative commons license. Since then, the method gained in relevance and today it is already globally strong. Large global corporations and organizations such as NASA, Google, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Unilever and others have already used the method with excellent results.
Media Marketing: How and why did you come up with the idea of linking archetypal branding and LSP?
Zenel Batagelj: The link between LSP and archetypes is clear and obvious, as both concepts are based on primal human knowledge and skills. The simplicity of both concepts (both of archetypes and of LEGO bricks) is understandable even for children, making the whole process globally applicable, regardless of the culture, race or age of the participants. Furthermore, storytelling is at the heart of both approaches, which is very important because people use stories to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas. In human evolution, structured narratives have proven to be the best medium for the exchange of knowledge in times when written forms had not yet existed. Because of this importance, stories and storytelling are at the heart of the LSP process.
Jaka Oman: People have worked with their hands since the dawn of time. Hands are our precision and complex tool for building and creating. We can do almost magical things with our hands. Options are endless. An additional reason is the fact that 70% -80% of our brain is connected to our hands, so when we use our hands, we activate most of our brain. From experience we have seen that everyone is capable of building excellent models out of LEGO bricks, as you can see in the pictures, and previous knowledge about LEGO is not necessary. Within the process, group dynamics is also improved, given that the method gives everyone the opportunity to build, create and share their stories with others. No one is left in silence, everyone is given the chance to present their vision, their idea… In this way, all individuals within a group contribute finding the ultimate solution, which is a very important decision for every company.
Media Marketing: How does this actually work in reality?
Zenel Batagelj: The existing process consists of three main phases. Initially we collect the necessary brand insights from customers and employees. Furthermore, market and competition analysis is carried out. Here we use our existing knowledge of market research with our advanced qualitative and quantitative methods. In the second phase we use the LSP in an internal workshop with a client, to build a possible archetype of the brand, and a story they will use in consumer relations, market situation and competition. Finally, we create all the necessary formulations for future communication of the brand, which will reflect the chosen archetype.
Jaka Oman: We use bricks to create a model on a specific subject, where different parts of the model represent the metaphor of our thoughts, and together, all these metaphors tell a story. Models made with LEGO bricks are an extremely important output since we are primarily visual creatures. The abstract metaphors can thus be seen in tangible form, embedding them into long-term memory.
Media Marketing: What would be the main advantages of this new process?
Zenel Batagelj: Our existing process of branding, which we have used up to now with over a hundred brands in the region, has already been very well thought out, as archetypes are a very powerful concept in the branding process. The link that consumers make with the archetypal foundation of a brand is much stronger, and still represents the greatest advantage. Still, we wanted to add something to that creative process, that would bring out the best out of our clients. The LSP is exactly what we needed. The process of building with LEGO has also proven that it brings the participants into a state of mind called the flow, where their creativity and productivity gain a special momentum. They lose their sense of time and disengage themselves from the world around them. Once the person is in the process, or in the flow, the results are far more creative and elaborate. You should try it!
Jaka Oman: From my experience, the advantage of the LSP method is the possibility of far more complex thinking about your brand. Workshop participants have an excellent tool to help them express themselves in a more structured way. All of them become better storytellers! The general level of understanding and agreement is far greater than what we are accustomed to. At the end, the participants remember the relationships from the workshop far better, because the final models speak clear and unforgettable stories.
Their thoughts and aspirations are far clearer now. First, the participants had a very simple and effective self-expression tool. Second, by merging individual models with a unified common model, the team was able to reach a clearer and more acceptable consensus because they were all part of that process, and the words of each of them was “heard” through the bricks, through the model … And finally, the results are visible, tangible objects that contain a clear and unforgettable story, which is an indispensable foundation for the future development of the brand and its communication.
Media Marketing: Have you already tried the new process of real cases and brands?
Zenel Batagelj: Yes, we have already used the new process in all major markets in our region, and feedback is great! The most important findings are that the process can be fully adapted to the specific needs of the client, and the results of the workshops have the highest possible value for the client. The final decision-making process takes place faster, because the positions of the stakeholders are much clearer. It is also great to see clients who are far more engaged than before. For them, this is indeed an extra driver of creativity, productivity and storytelling.
Jaka Oman: Interestingly, when the workshop participants see LEGO bricks, they think we’re going to play. On the one hand this is good, because we want a relaxed and playful atmosphere, but we have to know that LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is more serious than playing, and at the end of the workshop participants see the added value. The process is mentally very intense. There’s a lot more thinking involved, which is desirable when deciding on the archetypal position of our brand – an extremely important decision.
Media Marketing: What are your future plans with the new process and the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®?
Zenel Batagelj: We will continue developing the process, including the LSP in more stages of the process itself. We will establish strong local LSP teams in the region, so we could offer best possible results to all clients in our markets.
Jaka Oman: Currently, the archetypal branding is the only process in which we use the LSP, but we already have ideas on how to include LSP in other products as well, since the LSP method is applicable in a large number of processes and industries. We can confidently say that this is just the beginning for LSP.