With the advancement of the Internet and social media with the ability to be able to communicate with everyone worldwide, information and ideas are abundant sometimes not shared with the right people or get into the hands of the right people. There is a misconception that crowdfunding, and crowdsourcing are the same thing, in essence they may be, but the main thing that separates the two is one is based off of money that you may or may not get a return on and the other is based of sharing of information essentially. Many people have experienced crowdsourcing many times and may have not realized it, sharing information or ideas with the company you work for, giving feedback on products you have purchased, and coming together as a community in your homeowners’ association meeting, sharing ideas to make your community a better place, are all ways of crowdsourcing in person. Throughout this paper we are going to discuss the impact that crowdsourcing has on online marketing strategy through the company LEGO.
LEGO Utilizing the Consumers to Help Build Its Organization
At first LEGO launched a pilot for their crowdsourcing site in 2008 which it was called LEGO CUUSOO, it was done as an experiment and it was only available in Japanese, but because the pilot did so well and was a success, they then expanded the beta version in 2011 for international use. Again, with much success for LEGO CUUSOO in 2012 they unified the platform and concept with the LEGO experience and rebranded into LEGO Ideas. With LEGO ideas the concept is for the consumers to go post what kind of LEGO products and kits they would like to see come to the market to be available for purchase. The ideas need to have a big support from the people to be considered and selected to be reviewed and then implicated, at least 10,000 votes are needed to be considered for review. If and idea is selected and goes into production to be produced. It doesn’t stop there, the winning idea gets recognized, the induvial who came up with the idea for the product for LEGO gets special treatment by the company but also, they will receive a one percent royalty in that product. So not only does LEGO use their consumers to help them come up with future ideas, but they reward the induvial whom ideas become a winner.
For example, in 1968 a film was produced and released called, ‘The Beatles: Yellow Submarine’. It was a British animated musical in which the yellow submarine was an iconic symbol and part of the movie, which someone submitted for it to become a LEGO kit, after getting the votes and being reviewed, it was approved and put into production and was a big success. Another success that was submitted by someone was the Women of NASA LEGO kit. It was a kit that showcased the most famous female scientist and astronauts whom were, Nancy Grace Roman, Margaret Hamilton, and Sally Ride.
How Does This Option of Crowdsourcing Influence Marketing Strategy?
This way of crowdsourcing influences the market strategy by touching base with the consumer directly, instead of the company doing their due diligence in figuring out what their consumers want, they get the opportunity to find out first hand what they want from them and decide to implement or not based of votes and reviews. By doing so it reduces the cost of customer acquisition, because all they must do is monitor what the consumers want make decisions based off their opinions. It eliminates the guessing game of what the world wants and has the world tell them directly what they are intrigued in wanting and purchasing.
The Impact of Mobile and Social Media Campaigns on Marketing Strategy for LEGO
LEGO has had such a successful marketing strategy utilizing its crowdsourcing campaign they never entered the world of social media and mobile applications up until 2014 when they created their Instagram page and uploaded their first Instagram video. What LEGO has done with their social media outlets is utilizes education and inspiration. Being that most users of LEGO products are for the younger children their content must be liked by parents if they still want adults to purchase their products for their children. They also utilize hashtags for the purposes to be able to categorize the content they receive from the consumers and have branched out the LEGO Ideas hashtags on social media for another form of being inspired with new ideas.
For example, LEGO posted on Instagram a meme of someone who is allergic to cats, and it has a female holding a robotic cat made from LEGOS and kissing the robotic cat. This was done to build humor for the adults. Another example is another post of LEGO’s Instagram page showcasing education of simple addition problem using LEGOs. Both of these ads on social media were also utilizing the use of hashtags. In the first example one of the hashtags used is #LEGOBOOST which advertises their line of products that allows the younger children to build creations with motors and sensors incorporating LEGOs. In the second example of education the hashtag that was used was #LEGODUPLO, which advertises another line of LEGO product used for toddlers to teach them life skills.
LEGO was founded in 1932, and eighty-seven years later they are still on top of their game being the leader in the toy industry. Not only are they dominating the toy industry they are one of the top crowdsourcing companies out, utilizing their consumers to essentially submit ideas being their version of a think tank, and then using the consumers to vote on the submissions and then review which will be the best. Not only is LEGO Idea a phenomenon, being early in the social media game they are targeting the correct audience which is the adults and the children and maximizing off of that.
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- LEGO (@lego) Instagram photos and videos. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/lego/?hl=en.
- Women of NASA 21312: Ideas: Buy online at the Official LEGO® Shop US. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/women-of-nasa-21312.
- Yellow Submarine 21306: Ideas: Buy online at the Official LEGO® Shop US. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/yellow-submarine-21306.