Lego: Thinking Outside The Box

June 12, 2015

Lego is now considered the most powerful brand in the world. Earlier this year, it stole the number one spot from Ferrari and was crowned winner by Brand Finance, which ranks brands based on various criteria, including loyalty, corporate reputation, familiarity, promotion and staff satisfaction.

The Danish toymaker is clearly doing something right; since 2007, its profits have increased by an average of 37% per year, and the company has tripled its sales since 2008. And one of the reasons for Lego’s success has to be its innovative, high-risk-high-reward approach.

It’s not been an easy ride, though. Lego nearly went bankrupt before it turned itself around. However, the reason it survived is because of its well thought-out complementary innovations around its core product (plastic building bricks). From theme parks to video games, Lego has done it all.

Last year’s Lego movie was a huge success (it took £34.3 million), as was the hype surrounding it – merchandise, books, Happy Meal toys – that were all designed to connect kids with the story. It also entered the art world, creating sculptures made out of (you guessed it!) Lego, and joined forces with several new products, from Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and Lord of the Rings to Star Wars.

And let’s not forget Lego’s partnership with Shell – they have a history that dates back to the 1960s. However, the multimillion pound deal was ended by Lego last year after pressures from Greenpeace (a YouTube video of its depiction of the Arctic built from Lego being covered in oil and a protest at Legoland in Windsor), showing that Lego also know when it’s time to cut ties.

The execution and coordination needed for this recipe for success is huge, and few brands manage to pull it off well. Those that do are likely to see great results. What do you think your brand can learn from Lego?