LEGO Case Study: How to revitalize a beloved brand



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LEGO, the iconic Danish toy brand, has inspired creativity and imagination in children and adults alike since its inception in 1932. The company’s signature interlocking bricks have become a global phenomenon, transcending cultural and generational boundaries. However, in the early 2000s, LEGO faced significant challenges threatening its existence. Our LEGO case study will explore how LEGO revitalized its brand by refocusing on its core product. Then, they expanded into new markets and leveraged digital and content marketing.

LEGO case study

The Challenges LEGO Faced

In the early 2000s, LEGO grappled with several issues that put its brand at risk. Declining sales, increased competition from digital entertainment, and a loss of brand focus due to excessive product diversification left the company struggling to find its footing. These factors created a sense of urgency within LEGO’s leadership. They recognized the need for a fundamental shift in strategy to revitalize the brand and secure its future.

Recognizing the need for change

LEGO’s management understood they needed to reassess their business approach to overcome these challenges. They initiated a comprehensive review of the company’s operations, product portfolio, and marketing strategies. This process led to several critical insights informing the company’s revitalization efforts.

Refocusing on the Core Product

One key realization was that LEGO had drifted too far from its core product—the iconic interlocking bricks. The company had diversified its product line to include action figures, clothing, and various themed sets, diluting the brand’s identity. LEGO decided to streamline its product portfolio and return to the essence of its brand: the simple yet versatile building blocks that had captivated generations of fans.

Simplifying the Product Range

LEGO reduced the number of individual brick types, making it easier for customers to build with the product while maintaining its versatility. The company also reemphasized classic themes, such as City, Castle, and Space, which resonated strongly with its core audience. This refocusing allowed LEGO to reestablish its identity as a brand that fosters creativity and learning through play.

Expanding into New Markets

At the heart of the LEGO case study is a revitalization strategy that involved expanding its market reach. The company identified untapped potential in emerging markets, such as China and India, and developed targeted marketing and distribution strategies to cater to these new audiences. LEGO also recognized the importance of engaging adult fans. They began creating sophisticated sets with intricate designs and higher price points.

Building a Global Presence

LEGO invested in building a strong presence in emerging markets, opening new offices, retail stores, and production facilities. This expansion allowed the company to establish a local presence and better understand customers’ unique needs and preferences in these regions. By adapting its products and marketing strategies to cater to local tastes, LEGO grew its brand and increased sales significantly.

Leveraging digital and content marketing

LEGO understood that the rise of digital technology and social media presented both challenges and opportunities for the brand. To capitalize on these new avenues, the company embraced digital and content marketing as essential components of its overall brand strategy.

Engaging with Fans Online

LEGO created an extensive online presence through social media platforms, directly engaging with fans and customers. They share behind-the-scenes content, hosting contests, and showcasing user-generated creations. This allows LEGO to foster a sense of community and loyalty among its audience. This approach helped the company maintain relevance in an increasingly digital world.

The LEGO Ideas Platform

LEGO launched the LEGO Ideas platform, a crowdsourcing initiative allowing fans to submit their designs for production as official LEGO sets. This innovative approach provided valuable product ideas and deepened the connection between the brand and its fans. By involving their most cherished customers in the creative process, LEGO fostered a sense of ownership and loyalty, further strengthening its brand identity. To illustrate our LEGO case study, click on the video below that explains how the LEGO Ideas program works. 

To view, click on the LEGO IDEAS video as part of our LEGO case study. 

Engaging your customers

In 2021, there were 57 submitted ideas that made the Lego review stage. What a great example for engaging your most loyal brand fans. To illustrate our LEGO case study, click on on the examples of the ideas below.

To illustrate, click on the LEGO IDEAS examples above as part of our LEGO case study. 

Creating Immersive Digital Experiences

In addition to engaging with fans on social media, LEGO explored new ways to create immersive digital experiences. The company developed video games, mobile apps, and virtual reality experiences. This allowed users to build and interact with LEGO bricks in digital environments. By extending the play experience beyond the physical product, LEGO demonstrated its adaptability and commitment to embracing new technologies. 

To illustrate the LEGO case study, an example of one of their more immersive experiences is below. This allows LEGO customers to go deeper into each of their product lines. 

To illustrate, click on the LEGO digital example as part of our LEGO case study. 

The Impact of LEGO's Revitalization Strategy

The combination of refocusing on the core product, expanding into new markets, and leveraging digital and content marketing proved to be a winning formula for LEGO. The company’s sales and profits surged, and LEGO reclaimed its position as a leader in the toy industry. Moreover, LEGO’s revitalized brand image resonated strongly with both new and existing fans, securing the brand’s future for generations to come.

Our LEGO case study shows how they have experienced impressive growth and financial performance over the last 15 years. With revenues increasing from $1 billion to $8.4 billion, the company has managed to achieve an 8x increase. 

Moreover, our LEGO case study shows they have achieved a profit margin of nearly 25% and a profit of $2 billion indicate exceptionally strong performance.

To illustrate, click on the financial performance metrics of our LEGO case study. 

Lessons Learned from the LEGO Case Study

Our remarkable LEGO case study offers valuable insights for brand management:

  1. Stay true to your brand’s core identity. Maintaining a clear focus on the essence of your brand is crucial for long-term success.
  2. Understand and adapt to market dynamics. Continuously assess market conditions and adapt your strategies accordingly to stay relevant and competitive.
  3. Engage with your audience. Foster a sense of community and loyalty by involving your audience in the creative process and maintaining open lines of communication.
  4. Embrace new technologies. Leverage digital marketing and emerging technologies to create immersive experiences and reach new audiences.

LEGO customer service story

This customer story involves a 7-year-old boy who lost his Lego when he took it on a family trip to the mall. Kids lose a toy all the time. But this boy was so upset that he wrote a letter to LEGO, telling them the story and asking for a replacement. He lost just one figure in his LEGO kit (Jay ZX). But to him, it’s the most important thing in his life. Read how LEGO dealt with the letter. 

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