How LEGO uses Medium and Brand

To overwhelm customers with the warm joy of childhood
Brett Friedman

The Company

Lego. You've built rocket ships, castles, cars, and even friendships with them. They are a product easily loved. But if you haven't played with a lego set before, here's what they are: fundamental building blocks, toy edition. A single plastic brick capable of stacking into any shape or size you could possibly imagine.  

The Experiment

Lego is everywhere. Like The Simpsons, they've done it all. Unlike The Simpsons, LEGO is consistently good. While it would take at least an entire book to fairly discuss all aspects of LEGO's brilliant marketing experimentation, I'll mention two keys: Medium and Imagination.

LEGO treats medium like a game of RISK: expansion is the goal. They've marketed through magazines, movies, and even video games, not to mention seven others just from their website. Below, those other seven mentioned.

Tested Mediums:

  1. Paid Advertising
  2. TV Shows and Full Length Films
  3. Video Games
  4. Theme Parks
  5. Brand Partnerships
  6. Philanthropy
  7. Community
  8. Magazines
  9. Education
  10. UGC Ideas

In 1980, Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote a revolutionary little book on brand marketing called Positioning. One major claim is that each brand owns a single word in the customers' brain. What is most impressive about LEGO is that across all those mediums above, they've maintained dominance over a single word: Build.

Ctrl+F on any one of their webpages and you'll find that word at least once.
"Build confidence in STEAM Learning", Build &Rebuild the World, build mindfulness... the idea is, "there's no limit on what you can build." And when it comes to marketing campaigns, LEGO certainly builds a coherent feeling of positivity, from their feel-good, award-winning movies to their tangible impact on the lives of refugees, LEGO is dead set on building a brighter tomorrow.

The Results

In June this year, LEGO was named the world's most loved brand. Though there are different authorities on the subject, that award says something about what they've built for themselves. Of course, they also earn nearly a billion in profit annually.

But the real result is that they've built a world in which all of their marketing mediums stack like their toys do, adding support to every new campaign's performance. Every new partnership has the potential to become gamified, join TV characters, or feature in their magazines. This is what the term "omni-channel" marketing really means.  

The Application

LEGO tests every platform imaginable, bringing their same jovial message to all of them. While they have billions to spend on developing video games and producing movies, you can still take pages from their playbooks in a couple clear ways:

  1. Try new mediums. Build a community, partner with complementary brands, launch a magazine, a philanthropy, an educational course.
  2. Choose a word and own it. For Marpipe, that word is Test. We Test Everything.

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How to Run a Multivariate Test
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