LEGO is a company and a brand that uses the idea that building blocks can construct anything a child’s imagination and creativity can conjure. There is simplicity in its idea, which lets kids be creative. LEGO has been successful in branding and creating a name for itself. From being a simple building block brand, it has built itself up into an entertaining brand. The growth of the brand is driven by line extensions and the core remains the same- simplicity. The line extensions currently make sure that the core product has relevance again.
In 2017, LEGO has seen a slump in its sale and there has been a cutback in the workforce as well. Some of the campaigns that LEGO has launched which resulted in extensively marketing the brand are the LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie. LEGO has frequently teamed up to create superhero LEGOs. Competitors of the LEGO brand include VTech, Meccano, Coko, Tyco Toys, Mattel, and Leapfrog.
This report aims to provide an extensive analysis of marketing strategies and come up with a comprehensive set of marketing strategies that LEGO could employ to get back to its position as a market leader.
Importance of Marketing Research
Market Research is the collection of data to examine if a product is able to satisfy the needs of the customer. An effective market research provides the company with information on competitors, market trends, demographics, economic shifts and the customer’s spending traits. Market research helps in the identification of new business opportunities and targets the potential customers and increase sale. Research also helps in minimizing the loss the business could face. Before the launch, it is possible to predict the potential problems and work according to it.
When market research was done on LEGO, the preferences of a child were analyzed. Research showed that the target group was mostly young boys, at the time of launch. However, it has picked up among all children. As computer, laptops, and tablets became more popular among kids; research showed that children were playing games for the value of mastery that was obtained through scores, ranks, and levels. Further, it was evident that kids preferred the instant gratification that computer games provided. The success that LEGO has experienced is because the product was developing through the eyes of the customer rather than the company.
Role of Marketing in
The LEGO brand has driven sales by thoughtful resource allocation. There has been a heavy investment made in the development of the LEGO brand through social media. There is a clear strategy upon which resources are allocated. The investment made should be measurable and tracked periodically. Direct Sales, the brand-building ability, efficient monitoring and damage control are the common metrics that are employed by LEGO. The marketing should inspire a reaction, such that it is positive for the business and they are helpful and reactive.
By coordinating the sale and the marketing of a brand, the company’s strategy strengthens. It also ensures flawless and efficient implementation Sales and marketing must support each other right from the central concept to the minute details involved in the strategy. When a company is in the growing stage or is a mid-sized business, marketing is a strategic function. It only focused on positioning, segmenting and the product lines. As it became bigger, marketing took on a more wholesome approach focusing on long-term growth and sustained development. By integrating the two and by coordinating function, it can be achieved.
Developing and Implementing Strategy
There are five strategies involved in successfully developing and implementing a market strategy. They are speed and agility, killing the old formula, innovating with marketing, putting creativity out there and embracing the volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous world, also known as VUCA. VUCA is based on the fact that the millennial generation has grown up and they are the main audience who do the purchasing part, along with Baby Boomers. The strategy should be done in such a way that, the marketing is meant for the buyer, while the product is meant for the child. Marketing towards a child does not have much significance or impact.
Definitions of Marketing
Marketing as a Business Philosophy: According to this approach, only marketing and innovation produce results and everything else is only costs that the company bears. In companies like Procter & Gamble, marketing is defined as searching for opportunities and successful communication, pricing and distribution.
The philosophy uses the marketing mix of product, price, promotion, and place. The combination of all 4 caters to the target market. The 4 P’s are also known as factors that can be controlled, such as brands name, styling, quality, pricing strategy, market coverage, warehousing, public relations and publicity.
Figure 1: Marketing Mix
Marketing Concept: Marketing concept is based on the idea that customer needs should be analyzed and decisions should be made such that these needs are satisfied. The approach undertaken is to be better than the competition. This is a modern method of marketing where the focus is on customer needs and aligning the activities of the company to the customer. It is based extensively on market research and the definition of segments, targets, and their positioning.
Marketing Functions: Marketing functions helps a company identify successful products and source such products and promote their product by differentiating themselves from the product. It is done following market research and marketing plan development and the product development. It is a technique of ensuring that strategically overseeing advertising, promotion and public relations.
Contributions of Marketing
Marketing is significant in providing a turnaround for many companies. Marketing has created the best comebacks for companies in the business world. Apple saw a comeback thanks to innovation and marketing. IBM has had an incredible comeback thanks to marketing. Netflix remains a market giant thanks to marketing and Sprint remains US’s third-largest wireless network provider and operator thanks to the changes done in the marketing strategies with the prepaid plan.
Another success story is the LEGO’s turnaround of the century, making it even more valuable than the estimation of Ferrari. A technique followed by LEGO in market research is travel around the world, talking to children and their families and participating in their daily lives. This way, they are able to determine why some LEGO toys are preferred to another. As the research grew more specific, the product grew more refined and crafted to customer expectations and customer needs. Presently, LEGO seems to be involved in bridging reality and the virtual market. A marketing strategy that is used commonly is to start every year from a zero; recruiting every child and making them love the brand and make it exciting to play with. LEGO also focuses on speedy delivery and quick construction, keeping up with the trend of instant gratification of today’s world.
Future Marketing Strategies
Segmentation: LEGO has targeted all the children, focusing on kids aged between 5 and 12. The demography of the brand is found all over the world, with an expanding base into the Chinese and Indian Markets.
Targeting: The values that are targeted by LEGO are creativity, fun, quality, imagination, and learning. Market research shows that kids have switched to virtual games through their phone applications and expansion in terms of both geography and product. The targets paid off with brand promotions done from Just Imagine to Play on and with simple but imaginative ads. Most of the advertising was originally done on print media.
Positioning: LEGO has prided itself on constant innovation. The developers are experts at combining the old and the new. The quality that the product offers, the creativity it inspires and the environment-friendly design have subsequently resulted in Brand Loyalty. During the years of recession, LEGOs haw the highest growth despite the economic slowdown. Brand promise and brand equity are offered through high-quality products which inspire creativity.
Figure 2: STP process
Based on the STP Analysis, and the recent improvements made, a suitable future strategy that could be undertaken would be to allow the users to build the LEGO set they want to, by the use of AR and VR. Apart from the LEGO sets, the background can also be set up. This technology would focus on children aged up to 12, and could even be used by kids aged over 12. The values that LEGO hopes to build like creativity and imagination, as well as quality and fun, are also fulfilled. Additionally, this is in line with LEGOs policy of constant innovation.
Another strategy that can be implemented is the launch of limited edition products in the time of a launch, such as the launch of DC superhero LEGO products, right before the release of the movies in theatres. This pattern can be followed for a range of products and current events and Is not restricted to only movies and the entertainment industry. An example of this can also be seen in the LEGO set of the Wall of Mexico that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, plans on building. While trends keep changing and kids seem to be moving to the cyberspace, the Superhero trend seems to constantly be present. This trend could be capitalized to a large extent.
Market Orientation as a Strategy
Market Orientation is the philosophy in the company which focuses on the discovery of the customer needs, and the needs and desires of the customers are met through a product mix. Previously, market strategies were based on selling points for the current products. However, market orientation is based on tailoring your products to your customer needs.
Recent trends have seen children aged up to 12 drifting towards the cyberspace. There is an increasing number of kids who play games like Pokémon Go. It has been commonly accepted that Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the future of gaming. LEGO also offers an Augmented Reality Experience with the Open World LEGO app. It brings virtual sets to life in the living room. The technology uses interactive characters and worlds which combine to create a hunt for a golden brick. AR outshines VR and this app is only a testament to that. The app is completely free without any in-app purchases. These are common factors considered in the development of this app.
Figure 3: Marketing advertising
This app should be properly advertised and promoted. It marks the penetration of the brand in another domain while conforming to the industry expectations and the current trend of the market.
LEGO is an instance of how marketing strategies go a long way in successful marketing campaigns. With the sustained growth that the company has seen recently, the expectation to continue delivering the product is high. A focused marketing strategy which allows a company to grow in the direction it desires helps the business unit grow in the desired direction. Market strategies also provide the market with coherent execution and increase the marketing scores and business grows substantially. By becoming customer-centric, LEGO has become efficient and a market leader. With its latest move to penetrate into market orientation and newer technology, it will soon gain its position back as a market leader.
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