We’ve all heard of the LEGO brand, and it’s likely we’ve all played with LEGOs at some point throughout our lives. According to the LEGO website, there are 86 LEGO bricks for every human being on Earth. If built into one column, it would take 40+ billion LEGO bricks to reach the moon. That’s not to say it’s an effective space exploration strategy, it’s just a crazy that someone did the math to figure that out.
In 2014, LEGO became the largest leading toy manufacturer in the world, passing the previous title holder Mattel. This didn’t happen by accident; rather it was the result of extensive research into customer preferences for brand development purposes. By identifying what consumers liked about LEGO, the Danish toymaker was able to capitalize on its existing features while producing a new line of products attracting a new group of LEGO players.
Studies found that boys outnumbered girls 9:1 as their primary players, and previous attempts to target girl consumers were ineffective. After years of research, it was discovered that girls liked to build things as much as boys however they differed in what they wanted to build and which colors they preferred.
Furthermore, LEGO conducted primary research into their previously existing target market (boys) and discovered their product strategy was misaligned. As industry competition (i.e. computer games) was trending toward instant gratification, LEGO was making things quicker and easier to build. This was overlooking a key aspect of what consumers enjoyed about games; levels of play and the value of progressive mastery.
Since 2004, LEGO has steadily relied on varied research platforms to create an overall product development strategy focused less on what the company thinks is important, more what consumers think is important. By asking for insights, they received valuable information enabling them to give consumers what they want.