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Case Code: MKTG365
Case Length: 14 Pages 
Period: 2004-2017    
Pub Date: 2017
Teaching Note: Available
Organization : LEGO Group
Industry : Toys and Entertainment
Countries : US; Global 
Themes: Branding/ Brand Management/  Strategic Marketing  
Case Studies  
Business Strategy
Human Resource Management
IT and Systems
Leadership & Entrepreneurship

Building the LEGO Brand: Brick by Brick

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The development of the LEGO brand had been undertaken by three generations of the Christiansen family although in 2004 they handed over charge to Knudstorp, a former management consultant for Mckinsey & Company to manage the company as CEO and get the firm back on track. LEGO’s brand development strategy was closely linked to the company’s background, its development, and societal and marketing trends.

The brand followed a product-oriented strategy during the period 1932-1964 wherein it introduced line extensions within the existing product category, focusing on development of new construction themes and ideas to earn the loyalty of children, its prime consumer segment. In 1965, LEGO’s brand strategy focused on children and explored products for different age and gender groups. Accordingly, the company launched the first sub-brand, LEGO Duplo for younger children, followed by the launch of the more advanced LEGO Technic for older boys. ...

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Since inception, LEGO had focused on developing the brand, more than simply its familiar logo brand with the objective of portraying LEGO as a guarantee of its quality and originality and of achieving the mission to “Inspire and develop builders of tomorrow.” LEGO inscribed its brand values of imagination, fun, creativity, learning, care, and quality...


LEGO’s branding strategy aimed at re-establishing its brand portfolio and developing a sustainable business for the company. The brand reputation of LEGO was attributed to its branding strategy that had evolved over a period of time. LEGO had a “Balanced Brand Portfolio” wherein its product line was diversely distributed across different phases which resulted in the company enjoying a competitive advantage over other toy companies. ..


While there was no doubt that the back to basics brand strategy of LEGO yielded positive outcomes and that growth had returned, LEGO was confronted with challenges in several phases. LEGO faced the challenges of maintaining the uniqueness of the brand as it lost its exclusive rights over the bricks with the expiration of the LEGO patent in 1989. The LEGO brand faced competition from a number of toy manufacturers who produced plastic bricks similar to LEGO’s. Industry experts observed that LEGO also faced a challenge in keeping its vision alive by creating toys that lived up to the expectations of the digital world as children were moving fast toward digital platforms. .


Despite the fierce competition and challenges, LEGO’s brick by brick brand strategy paid off significantly by attracting over 6.5 million people across the world who appreciated the brand. The LEGO brand created a desire among the consumers to find new ways to invent solutions and design products in a more sustainable manner. Speaking on the relevance of LEGO bricks in the digital world, Charlotte Simonsen (Simonsen), head of communications of the LEGO Group, said, “Putting two LEGO bricks together is intuitive and provides the immediate joy of creation. That joy can be supplemented, but never replaced by electronic experiences.” .


Exhibit I:Consolidated Income Statement of LEGO
Exhibit II: The LEGO Brand Framework
Exhibit III: LEGO’s Corporate Brand Implementation Process
Exhibit IV: LEGO Branding Strategy - Focus on the Core
Exhibit V: LEGO’s Brand Portal
Exhibit VI: The World’s Most Powerful Brands (2015)
Exhibit VII: LEGO’s Value Hierarchy
Exhibit VIII: Top 20 Brands Q2 Based on ListenFirst Digital Engagement Rating (Q2, 2015)