In the Land of LEGO
LEGO has been a household name for families with little ones since 1949. If there was a child in the home, chances are, LEGO was too. The brand perseverance of the Lego Group is a tale of endurance and ingenuity; from near-bankruptcy in the late 1980s into the 1990s, to becoming one of the world’s most powerful brands.
The enduring nature of LEGO doesn’t just rely on the necessity of children’s toys, but an active engagement with the ever-changing popular culture and trends of the time.
LEGO — a history in parts
Founded in 1932 by Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen, LEGO began as a wooden toy manufacturing company. Derived from the Danish words leg godt, meaning ‘play well’ (and coincidentally ‘I assemble’ in Latin), LEGO began with wooden block and pull toys, which included the LEGO wooden duck toy.
The brand has survived through a number of trials and tribulations. After nearly losing everything in two separate warehouse fires, LEGO also endured through the trying years of the Depression. Despite almost going bankrupt, Christiansen took a gamble and purchased a plastic moulding machine following the Second World War. From there, the rest is pretty much history.
LEGO’s playsets have come a long way since the unveiling of the first-ever block set, cultivating a vibrant and diverse audience experience of more than just building cities and landscape, but integrating parts of popular culture as well.
LEGO and user-generated content
From interlocking building blocks to stop-motion movies on YouTube and movie franchise toy sets, LEGO’s dynamic range of content makes good on serving customers anywhere from age 3 to 99. Whether it’s buckets of building blocks or specialised themed box sets, LEGO’s diverse and flexible uses are limited only by the imagination.
Because of this, LEGO’s marketing and advertising efforts often take care of themselves. By offering more and more flexible opportunities for user-generated content, LEGO contributes to its own continuity as organically as possible.
Since its inception, LEGO has acquired quite the following among collectors. The current titleholder with the largest collection of LEGO sets happens to be a chap from Melbourne — with over 3,837 sets to his name. There’s no telling how many individual LEGO pieces that accounts for! The consistent supply and demand for collector’s edition sets have kept LEGO at the forefront of their customers’ minds, especially with franchise collaborations.
It doesn’t just stop with collectors, though. A quick search through YouTube reveals a library of cleverly and meticulously-crafted stop-motion videos created by fans of the toy brand. As LEGO began to delve into partnerships with film and book franchises, user-generated content continued to boom. From Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh, and Lord of the Rings, to Batman and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, LEGO pieces together a customer experience that appeals to the inner child and collector in their audience. Whether it’s stop-motion films or unboxing videos, there’s something to appeal to their audiences of every age group.
Fans of the brand don’t just partake in LEGO building competitions around the world, but flock to cinemas to watch films like The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie, and The Lego Ninjago Movie.
Staying in touch and staying in business
It goes without saying that an enduring brand is a brand that stays engaged with its audiences. Delivering a memorable experience when it comes to audience engagement doesn’t just encompass an active social media presence. It’s about embracing user-generated content and continuing to deliver content that generates active audience engagement. A brand that stays top-of-mind is a brand that lasts through the ages.