Lego continues to carve its way into the hearts of children after more than 80 years since it began work in a small carpenter’s workshop.
Lego remains determined to build new ideas off its small but powerful two-by-four brick – from physical toys and clothing, to blockbuster movies and theme parks. And the work certainly seems to be paying off with consumers.
Brand Finance, in its ranking of the world’s 500 most valuable and most powerful brands, names the toymaker as the “World’s Most Powerful Brand” in 2015. It has since come in third place in the ranking’s “top growing brands”, behind Facebook and Amazon and has been found in the top 100 of Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands 2016”.
And despite this, like any other leading entertainment or toy brand out there, Lego has had to find new ways to keep kids interested and away from constantly being glued to a screen as it is living in a world which is becoming increasingly concentrated by technology.
Coming up with something new for its young audience every year is the challenge for Lego in this scenario. An array of measures are needed, says the toymaker’s chief marketing officer (CMO) and executive vice president.
“It’s social media, it’s looking at the trends, it’s looking at the themes and what’s coming up. And second, we speak to kids directly every week they come over,” Lego CMO, Julia Goldin told the media.
“We actually have them over at the development office where we develop the products and we engage with them, we ask kids about the product. We ask kids about what they’re into. We show things to them. The best way that we can learn about kids is actually to see what their real lives are like, and ask them what they think about things,” Goldin added.
Grown-ups — or “Adult Fans of Lego” — also come in and propose new content ideas and themes, as well as providing advice for research development and therefore it’s not just children who act as important advocates for future products.
Including goods which tie in with film releases, such as “Lego Jurassic World” and “Lego Disney Princess”, the brand has teamed up with other brands to release a whole host of products in addition to sourcing ideas from the public.
“Our number one priority is always kids,” Goldin said, adding that when it comes to advertising new products it’s about “creating their desire and making sure they know what are the new products that are coming out and exciting them, engaging them. So that’s really always the number one priority.”
However, Lego’s chief marketing officer is kept up at night by this quest for innovation which remains an important challenge.
“The biggest challenge that is always something that I think about is the fact that to capture kids imagination and to capture their interest is increasingly more and more challenging,” said Goldin.
“There are so many different things that occupy (children). There’s so many different things that steal their attention. There are so many different things in which they can engage,” Goldin added.
“So I think our job to innovate is probably the most important and the most challenging and that’s what keeps me up at night. What’s the next big thing? What’s the next innovation? What’s the next portfolio going to look like? What’s the next big theme that’s going to engage them?”
(Adapted from CNBC)