Many case study analyses take marketing strategies of LEGO as an example of a successful framework which does almost everything correctly. LEGO is a business that engages its customers, uses various types of social media to reach out to various audiences, and focuses on creativity above all else. According to Du, Yalcinkaya, and Bstieler (2016), the family-owned company succeeds in many ways because of the concept of co-creation – the inclusion of customers in the process of designing and production.
This marketing strategy is effective in industries where the product serves as a tool for other creations. Nevertheless, LEGO’s seemingly perfect marketing strategy does not result in high levels of engagement online – the firm’s accounts on social media yield many views but not the same amount of comments and shares. Thus, it can be suggested that LEGO simultaneously excels and fails at engaging its clients (Constantinides, 2014). LEGO’s use of co-creation marketing strategy helps it to attract and retain customers, although the company can improve its social media engagement to connect with the audience in a meaningful way.
Company’s Current Social Media Strategy
LEGO is a company that uses its product as both a sellable item and a source of creativity for the public. Currently, the business utilizes a multitude of marketing resources. First of all, LEGO has an interactive website that caters to both adults and children. For the former, it has an online store to purchase all available products, as well as other goods that implement LEGO’s unique characters and ideas.
For the children, LEGO introduces brand-inspired games that are completely free to play and easy to install on one’s computer, tablet, or phone. Moreover, LEGO has been using its character universes to create movies, cartoons, series, and video games. One of the most notable examples is The Lego Movie which used both existing personalities from other franchises and new original characters. Video games and souvenirs such as figurines, clothes, and costumes have also used other movies and literature as sources of inspiration.
Furthermore, LEGO focuses on customer engagement and maintains a view that its clients are the primary creators of the company’s value. Notably, the shift from profitability towards lifetime value and customer’s own marketing opportunities is a recent development in the marketing sphere (Kotler, Keller, Sivaramakrishnan, & Cunningham, 2013). For instance, LEGO’s program called LEGO Ideas is a platform where customers propose and vote for ideas for future LEGO products (“About LEGO Ideas,” n.d.).
If a suggested customized set gathers 10.000 votes, it is then reviewed by the company’s development team. After if being approved, it is designed, manufactured, and added to the firm’s line of products. Moreover, the client who introduced the idea is paid for the concept. Here, one can see that LEGO engages its audience in sharing the ideas that they explore while using LEGO’s products as the main resource. Therefore, the company is able to reuse the purchased goods as a source for new clients and inspiration for future designs, utilizing the marketing strategy of co-creation (Constantinides, 2014). This is the approach that continues to appeal to both adults and young client bases.
While the current strategy of LEGO seems to be one of the most successful ones on the market, it still can be improved. For example, LEGO’s current use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter does not provide the company with a high level of engagement. The firm’s accounts have improved in recent years suggesting that LEGO became more interested in these resources than it was before.
However, the clients do not engage with the posted content as actively as they do with other brands. In this case, LEGO’s main pitfall may lie in the fact that the posts do not have a unified tome. Effing and Spil (2016) argue that a business should ensure that its accounts have a clear purpose and possess a “human voice” that engages customers and presents a whole picture of the brand. LEGO’s accounts do not have a single idea being all content, and the messages range from jokes that target small children to the news that are appealing to adults.
Interestingly, one should note that most social media platforms are open to users who are older than 13 years which also creates a limitation on the audience to which LEGO can reach out. Thus, the company should consider improving its social media presence by establishing a clear message and content quality among all accounts. Its recent campaigns such as LEGO Ideas, The Lego Movie, and “This Is Not A Brick” show that LEGO can design marketing strategies that are appealing to both younger and older audiences (Beer, 2017; Spangler, 2018). LEGO should employ a similar approach to managing its social media presence.
Academic Research Findings
The mentioned above concept of co-creation is a marketing strategy that is often utilized by companies with products that engage people’s creative abilities. According to Constantinides (2014), LEGO succeeds in its approach to co-creation because it acknowledges and applauds its audience’s enthusiasm, thus further supporting the clients’ understand if their value as creators. By engaging people through LEGO Ideas, the firm extends customers’ authority to becoming co-creators who influence manufacturing and designing processes.
The scholar suggests that this strategy is highly effective in markets where the products continuously need design and functionality improvements (Constantinides, 2014). The findings of the study suggest that co-creation is a powerful tool that is likely to support the company’s existence for many years. Moreover, this approach increases LEGO’s ability to outsource product development activities. LEGO does not need to come up with new ideas for characters and settings at a fast pace since its customers act as designers and concept designers as well as judges of which products are the most desirable.
The effect of co-creation on the company’s sustainability is also researched in the study by Du et al. (2016). The authors find that LEGO and similar firms leverage customer support and use it to promote innovation while including the audience in the decision-making process. By actively consulting customers, such businesses maintain clients’ interests and uphold their values, creating and maintain a strong and meaningful relationship with the public. Du et al. (2016) find that co-creation appeals to the contemporary customer who is selective and difficult to satisfy. LEGO manages to use customer’s ideas as the driver for changes while employing the same strategy.
LEGO is a company that has improved its marketing strategy significantly over the years. The company has embraced the facts that its products are appealing to both children and adults. Currently, its social media strategy engages customers and allows them to exercise their creativity.
While LEGO branches out and uses films, video games, and merchandise to promote both its products and ideas, the company fails at maintaining social media platforms with high-quality content. Thus, its accounts can be improved to encourage clients to connect with the brand on a personal level. The academic research finds that LEGO’s use of co-creation is a powerful strategy that can ensure the firm’s popularity for a long time.
About LEGO Ideas. (n.d.). Web.
Beer, J. (2017). The secret to Lego’s social media success is in the creative power of crowds. Fast Company. Web.
Constantinides, E. (2014). Foundations of social media marketing. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 148, 40-57.
Du, S., Yalcinkaya, G., & Bstieler, L. (2016). Sustainability, social media driven open innovation, and new product development performance. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 33(S1), 55-71.
Effing, R., & Spil, T. A. (2016). The social strategy cone: Towards a framework for evaluating social media strategies. International Journal of Information Management, 36(1), 1-8.
Kotler, P., Keller, K. M., Sivaramakrishnan, S., & Cunningham, P. H. (2013). Marketing management (14th ed.). Toronto, Canada: Pearson Canada.
Spangler, T. (2018). ‘The Lego Movie’ streaming free on YouTube on Black Friday. Variety. Web.