February 11, 2021|
6 min read
LEGO Staying True to It's Brand Essence
LEGO Continues to Stay Relevant
I love being inspired by innovative and purposeful brands. LEGO is a brand that keeps on being inspirational!
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and lots of us are thinking about what we’ll get our significant others. Ever noticed that a dozen roses are much more expensive around this time? (On a side note, I am also reading about the ethics of flowers these days too. Who knew that even flowers may be coming from underdeveloped countries and perhaps exploiting workers?)
LEGO gave us one answer: a set that lets you “build your own” bouquet! That’s a pretty awesome idea. Instead of just buying flowers, you spend the time and effort to put together this bouquet. And during a pandemic…how cool is it to give a gift that is fun to build together!
If that doesn’t say “I love you,” I don’t know what does. 😊 And you can disassemble it, store it, and then get it out again next year.
But what this bouquet did for me is make me take notice of this LEGO brand beyond my daughter, who loves LEGO and has probably built 20 of their themed ideas.
LEGO’s entire ethos is about getting creative, inventive, and imaginative. They are a company that likely has a culture rooted in celebrating risk and therefore, innovation. Their higher purpose would likely be tied into something big, inspiring, and hugely emotionally rewarding…given the tangibility of the play value that the benefit is rooted in.
Creativity at the Core
I guess this shouldn’t be surprising! But in fairness, in a world that loves gaming…. the LEGO company stayed TRUE to their essence. And their level of innovation seems too only have been amped up. They’ve expanded into new lines over the years, and even new media. Today, you can find not only original LEGO kits but also branded ones, as well as line-ups that relate to LEGO’s own video games, movies, and TV shows.
LEGO has always been about encouraging creativity and quirkiness. Yes, many sets come with instructions on how to build what you see on the box. But LEGO encourages their customers—especially kids—to get creative. There’s nothing stopping you from using the bricks in the kit to build something completely different.
That “think outside the box” attitude also allows the team to approach all kinds of new ideas. Think about The LEGO Movie. The main characters learn to work together and to use their ingenuity to break the “rules” of their world. The end of the movie gives us a meta-narrative about a kid playing with his father’s hobby LEGO set. The commentary is that the father, the hobbyist, has forgotten the fundamental rule of playing with LEGO. There are no rules! Anything is possible.
So it makes sense that LEGO encourages architects, engineers, and other scientists to build cars, tests the laws of physics, and more. And it makes a lot of sense that they’d come up with a reusable flower bouquet that can be built and rebuilt! A white space that introduces a new occasion and a new customer…. recipient and customer…me!
Like I said, LEGO always encourages you to think beyond the instructions too. So, sure, you can build the bouquet on the box. Or you might decide to get a little more creative, especially if you decide to build the bouquet more than once.
That’s an imaginative way of approaching this annual gift occasion! It’s greener, it’s creative, and it can “keep on giving.” When you put effort into something or share quality time together doing something fun, there may be a little more benefit provided too…I would be curious what their most valuable customers believe to be true!
LEGO Stays True
It’s easy to accuse a big company like LEGO of losing itself. After all, they’ve introduced some LEGO sets that were clearly marketed to “girls." They’ve also gotten into more licensed products over the years, offering up Marvel Avengers, Batman, and Star Warssets. The Star Wars fan in my life built the Millennium Falcon. It could feel like they are simply chasing “what is hot”.
But, with something as simple yet incredibly innovative as the flower bouquet, LEGO proves that they have stayed true to their brand. And you can mix and match all the sets. Think as out-of-the-box as you like! Perhaps Han Solo shows up to give the Avengers a lift after they get stuck on another planet.
There’s no limit on creativity, no matter what’s “in the box” with LEGO. The company encourages you to think more expansively and to play! The are empowering their customer to be innovative themselves!
That imagination also expands to other parts of the business, like moving into new media or opening a theme park. It extends to offering contests and awards to people in STEM who are using LEGO to “think outside the box.”
LEGO innovates and encourages its customers to take the same approach. People turn to LEGO for new ideas, for a fun experience, and even for irreverent entertainment. The possibilities are endless with LEGO. And we love that freedom to think outside the box, to get creative and just play around with such a simple toy.
Now, not all our brands have innovation or imagination at the core like LEGO does. But I do think we could learn a thing or two from them. First, we can look at how they stayed true. They have kept their higher purpose or essence of their brand intact. And second, we can learn that a culture rooted in innovation or inspiration means that this core philosophy applies to it as a toy, experimenting, ideating, storytelling through movies…. but whatever they choose…the roots of this Living Brand are honoured.
Innovation without having an anchor means you can become anything to anyone. LEGO is a great example of how to deliver that essence and core values while being imaginative and staying true. An anchor does not mean you are a staid brand. An anchor simply helps provide a guide and ensures your innovation is not aimless.
As a final thought, the answer is inside your business. Your most valuable customers can give you the depth of understanding like no one else. So, remember, you just have to start with the why!
Here to inspire and create conversation!
I am a business person who has excelled in driving a competitive edge through marketing, strategy, innovation, building irresistible brands and unlocking the genius that exists. I am writing to inspire or create new consideration. If you have ideas or questions that you would like me to put a pen too, I would be delighted.
I would also be grateful if you shared this or any of the articles I have written to inspire others.
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