As a fan of LEGO, I have always been impressed with how well they engage with customers.The favourite Danish toy manufacturer has always had a positive brand image, and with a mission to “Inspire and develop builders of tomorrow,” it comes as no surprise that their customers are a key component to their marketing success. So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled to hear Lars Silberbauer, Global Head of Social Media for LEGO, talk about marketing and customer engagement at a recent Thismoment event in London.
What stands behind LEGO’s success? What differentiates the brand from the others?
As he put it, “when you feel that you are being advertised to, you lose a lot of trust in that message.” Therefore LEGO tries to build a genuine conversation and relationship with its community and create content that is trustworthy, engaging, innovative and fun.
Wait! That’s easier said than done!
Naturally engagement is a goal for all marketers, however what should we do if we don’t have amazing colourful product that is popular with all age groups and sold worldwide, to back up our content marketing activities?
An examination of recent LEGO social media campaigns offers helpful insight.
Masters of imagination, creativity, fun, learning, caring and quality
LEGO is a master at content distribution, so much so that we have learned a bit about the concept of “Any Content, Anywhere” from their social media team. LEGO regularly posts videos on Vine and Instagram, replies to questions and shares customers’ experiences on Twitter, they run multiple contests on Facebook and make sure that their Youtube channel, powered by Thismoment, is a never-ending source of inspiration for builders, regardless of age.
According to Lars, the key value lies in the connection between the brand and customers. As he has mentioned during our customer event recently, “LEGO sees its brand as something that is co-owned with its fans, because they also have perceptions about the brand and future direction.” This approach naturally involves mutual trust and never-ending engagement with the customers.
On top of that, LEGO excels in areas that some other brands haven’t even tried to enter:
LEGO encourages the community to come up with new innovative ideas and to not be afraid to customize their sets and share their creations. On its own that might not seem like anything new, but LEGO takes it a step further and runs a dedicated website called LEGO Ideas where anyone can submit their ideas for new product set designs. If the proposal gains more than 10,000 votes from the community, it is forwarded to the product development team for consideration.
LEGO simply loves to do things differently and they often come up with new ways to boost its fans’ creativity. Out of all its latest activities on Facebook, I personally enjoyed #SpookifyYourSet. Customers were asked to customize their LEGO sets in Halloween theme, which was very successful activity that generated hundreds of pieces of content. Just from a pure interest I searched for that hashtag using our content marketing solution platform – Content Cloud – and within few minutes created a playlist that you can check HERE. This program, which encouraged customers to get creative and build something fun for Halloween, is a fantastic example of encouraging creativity.
One of the golden rules of content marketing is to create experiences that people love to share, not advertising they try to avoid. LEGO is really good in listening to what customers want and what they are interested in. In recent years, they enriched their more traditional sets through licensing agreements with Star Wars, The Simpsons, Harry Potter and many more. By introducing these innovative sets, they are connecting communities that share huge interest in a specific topic. Moreover, it is giving them fun engaging marketing opportunities, such as the #GoldenBrickies contest that ran on Facebook and was hosted by Thismoment. The Golden Brickies Awards asked all creative Jedi builders to submit images and mini-videos of Star Wars-inspired creations to company’s social media channels for a chance to win a year’s supply of LEGO Star Wars goodies.
- Learning and caring
Although all of the above are valid and important points, what really makes LEGO’s content relatable and authentic, is what Lars refers to as the “human voice of the company.” Despite all the metrics and ways to measure performance of marketing campaigns, we shouldn’t forget that people in the company need to talk with customers, as often as possible. It’s clear that LEGO’s social media team tries to respond to comments and enriching pieces of content. They value education and invest significantly in education programmes and development.
What can all marketers learn from LEGO customer engagement?
- Encourage your customers to customize. It’s human nature to show creativity, be smart and innovative, allow your customers to do so and you will be flooded with engagement.
- Aim to bring value, not to sell. If an increase in sales is your first goal when creating social media strategy, customers will most likely see through it. Be the human voice of your company and offer something of value!
- Connect with your customers anytime, anywhere. Be everywhere your customers are – if they are on a new social media platform, you should be too!
- Create experiences that people love to share, not those they try to avoid. When creating content ask yourself if you’d share it with friends, if so, you’re on the right track!
As mentioned, I’m a fan, and to top it off with my recent LEGO experience, check out what I saw on my way home in Covent Garden, London – a LEGO sleigh. Now that’s creative and fun!