The LEGO Company is a very good example of the importance of understanding the target market. The main target market for the LEGO Company is children between the ages of 1-15 years. Having said this, whilst kids are the main target audience for the LEGO company, LEGO understands that parents are also the key target market for their business.
Four Main Target Profiles
- Young children who are encouraged to learn: interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related activities; actively engage in learning programs; LEGO MindStorms NXT is a collaboration with MIT; first LEGO League Tournament for youngsters aged 9-16; children aged between 1-16.
- Children fans of movie Tie-Ins: children who are big fans of a movie that have just been released and have purchased LEGO sets for these movies, regularly watch their favourite movie characters on phone/tablet.
- Nostalgic parents: parents who have played LEGO when they were younger have fond memories of LEGO as a child; connecting parents to children; multigenerational appeal to LEGO Toys and licensed products.
- Nostalgic Millennials: very loyal to the LEGO brand and the other big brands they are associated with; luxury product; people have emotional connection with means higher spending/consumption rate.
LEGO’s brand personality is portrayed through its marketing communication strategy, the history of the brand and nostalgic parents. Competency is the main characteristic of the LEGO brand personality, they are commonly acknowledged as a reliable, intelligent and successful brand. “Our mission at the LEGO Group is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow”, from this mission statement we can clearly see that LEGO places huge emphasis on education and childhood development. Since LEGO was founded in 1932, they have focused on providing entertainment and fun while ensuring safety for children. Like people, the success of an organisation depends on how well things are functioning internally. With every brand comes a backstory, LEGO wanted to add depth to its brand personality. A few years ago, the LEGO Group created a compelling brand story video explaining the making of the company. This brand story gives the customer insight into the personal challenges faced by the founder of LEGO, this adds a more human side to the brand which helps to increase customer loyalty (Agius, 2019).
The LEGO brand personality is about learning, education and making memories. If LEGO were a person, they would be smart, innovative, friendly and loyal. These are the key personality traits of a brand.
LEGO’s brand value increased significantly over the last few years, to be precise the brand grew 68% in one year. The LEGO Group has both functional and emotional values associated with the brand. The emotional value of a brand can really strengthen the relationship between the brand and the customer. LEGO is very good at attaching positive emotions to their products. They have implemented many marketing strategies and campaigns that attached emotional value to consumer’s life. As a brand, LEGO have used their insightful knowledge to create a strong relationship between their consumers and LEGO by provoking the consumer’s emotions. As well as that, LEGO has been around since the 1930’s, which means that parents have an emotional attachment to the brand as they mas associate LEGO with happy childhood memories. This is vital to LEGO’s success to target the parents as they are the ones with all the purchasing power. Unlike other brands such as Disney or Coca-Cola, LEGO are more subtle about trying to engage human emotions in the sense that they rely on the long-running history and loyalty of their brand.
LEGO® Education has been working with teachers and educational specialists for 37 years to ensure playful learning experiences that make learning enjoyable for the children. The key function of LEGO® is learning and skill development. The LEGO Group places a huge emphasis on education and learning. The system of learning employed by the LEGO group is STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics). The brand promises to build confidence and creativity within young children. The company employs the ‘’4C Framework’’ approach. The four phases are:
- Connect: the topic is introduced; this is the stage where the kids have time to explore the topic and ask questions.
- Construct: each task in this phase includes a building activity that advances learning and promotes new ideas that can be used in later tasks.
- Contemplate: students reflect on what they have learned and discuss with other students.
- Continue: Student use knowledge acquired from old tasks to build new tasks.
User imagery describes who or what type of person would use the product/brand. LEGO portray their user image across their website and social media platform as young children to teenagers who are hungry to learn and play. They want their users to be depicted as being adventurous, creative and intelligent.
International Strategy / Cultural Strategies
The global toy industry is a billion-dollar industry that is dominated by five main players including the long-standing LEGO Company. As technology is constantly evolving and becoming a regular part of children’s entertainment and learning activities, LEGO has had to compete with these technological advancements. LEGO is available in 130 countries worldwide.
LEGO had years of unbroken sales growth for 50 year and the LEGO brick faced very little competition. A current and growing trend globally is that children are growing up faster and moving on from traditional toys and childhood games a lot younger than a few years ago The LEGO Group faced its first losses in 1998. After this loss, LEGO decided to sign a partnership deal with Warner Bros in relation to launching LEGO Products based on Harry Potter’s Magic Universe (LEGO.com, 2019).
This deal was a major factor in their consistent success and having tie-in with large movie franchises is their main international marketing strategy.
LEGO recently released their first global marketing campaign in 30 years. This campaign was aimed to spark children’s creativity so that they can develop the necessary skills to lead in the future.
The LEGO Group are trend followers not trend setters. This type of marketing strategy has been undeniably effective for their brand. They utilize content marketing by banking off the success of other brands, for example Star Wars. Companies who employ a trend following strategy do not aim to foresee the future trend, but rather they make sure they are in the right position to work with the brand who has created the new trend. LEGO is associated with some of the biggest movies franchise, for example; Disney and Star Wars.