LEGO set the standard in fan-based innovation and is now pushing the envelope of activities into attractive markets.
A few years ago, LEGO captured headlines with its Mindstorms NXT product launch which rewrote the rules on customer collaboration: Having previously faced bankruptcy as videogames had threatened the toys sector, from 2004 LEGO used on-line interaction, community development and ultimately virtual expert development teams to not only regain but also grow its market presence. Now, with six years of continued growth, much of which has been double digit, LEGO is on a rising trajectory as the global toy market stagnates with both Mattel and Hasbro, the world’s largest toy companies, struggling. Increasing market shares from more innovative new products and an expansion of its ‘direct to consumer’ activities as well as electronic platforms gave LEGO a 17% increase in sales in 2011.
Key to this success has been three core elements: Continued and deeper customer interaction, board games and richer online games: Designby me.com has become the core platform through which many of LEGO’s customers create and share their own digital designs across millions of users and then turn the products into reality; In 2010, LEGO launched family board games with boards and parts that need to be built from bricks and instantly captured 12.6% of the US market. This has helped move LEGO into another primary area of the Toys and Games sector and use its Star Wars, Harry Potter and Batman franchises to even more effect. On top of this, in the virtual space, the company launched LEGO Universe – its first massively multiplayer online game – that took it deeper into gaming and the territory that used to be seen as a threat. With more launches planned across the board, continued development of Mindstorms and exemplary community innovation engagement, LEGO’s growth view remains very positive.