The more brands can turn consumers into advocates, the more authentic your brand becomes, says Conny Kalcher, vice-president marketing and consumer experience at Lego.
Speaking at Global Marketer Week in Marrakech, Kalcher explained how the company went from losing its place in the market 10 years ago to becoming one of the most successful toy companies in the world.
“Our classic toys had become quite fancy and consumers didn’t recognise them as the Lego brand so we went back at looked at what’s relevant to kids,” she said.
“We wanted to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. We wanted to develop a toy that parents were happy to give their children, to encourage their creativity.”
But it wasn’t as simple as that: to become more consumer driven, Lego had to move the company to become more “consumer focused”, said Kalcher.
According to Kalcher, Lego understood that they needed to view themselves as an “experience brand” and focus more on understanding consumers and creating distinct and seamless experiences for them.
“As a brand you get to understand what consumers like and hate and you learn how to turn them from ‘detractors’ into ‘producers’,” said Kalcher.
“If you want to be a premium brand you have to demonstrate that you are listening to the consumer,” she added.
Ten years ago, launching new products used to be easy, but in today’s world brands now need to orchestrate 360-degree campaigns – they need to focus on “content creation” and “channel management.”
“Today we must master 360 degree campaigns and do it in real-time,” said Kalcher. “We are dialling up digital content production and turning more and more into a media company.”
There’s no doubt that Lego is certainly mastering the art of digital marketing. It has now become more than just a toy brand, producing video games, TV series and, of course, last year’s Lego Movie – with two or three more in the pipeline.
“Four years ago we realised that we needed to build our own channels and talk to parents and children.
“It’s not push marketing – we think differently about social media. The consumers facilitate dialogue and sharing and that’s where you can really accelerate your marketing. It’s about stimulating that relationship with them,” said Kalcher.
“It’s important to us as a creative brand to inspire creativity in those brands.”