The world of children’s games has exploded with the advancement of technology. Much discussion has taken place around the future of physical gaming companies with this new digital reality. Given the importance of tactical experience for child development, much of the “doom” discussions where exaggerated. However, the fact that birth rates are down in many markets that are important to the sales volume of the industry and that there is considerably more competition from new digital offerings, keeping healthy growth rates is clearly more challenging for established “analog” companies.
Looking at the opportunity instead of the challenge is the way that the “traditional” companies are to succeed in this new industry reality. The Brand that has arguably done the best job is Lego. They have embraced technology to make their product and, more importantly, the core human value that they have built their universe around, flourish. They are a brand that nurtures and cultivates imagination. The opportunities around imagination with technology and the new entertainment landscape were (and are) significantly more potent. Lego has done such a great job that their products are now used in pop-culture such as music videos (see here) and online content around comedy figures (see immediate below), etc.
Lego has aggressively explored all the opportunities in furthering children’s imagination. The result has been interesting partnerships, interesting digital experiments, and continued brilliant creativity that gets shared (thanks to a smart social strategy) – see great campaigns below. Lego has sought to partner with film and gaming franchises that are important players or growth opportunities in the games universe, such as the Star Wars franchise, DC comics, and Grand Theft Auto. They have also developed great mobile ideas around app culture to further imagination (see here). Digitally they have built a developer community to ignite the imagination of the public to further their cause (see here). Digitally they have also created an online ecosystem (see here). From a content point of view, they have developed great short films around their partnership assets and their amusmement park (see immediate below).
This continued pursuit of relevance continues to build Brand Evangelism that few Brands in any category enjoy (see the video of a boy who wrote a letter to Lego to get a discontinued product and his joy of receiving a package from Lego shortly thereafter). What a great company. Enjoy.