Lego Reconstructs Its Brand

By Marsh, Harriet | Marketing, August 8, 1996 | Go to article overview

Lego Reconstructs Its Brand


Marsh, Harriet, Marketing


Lego remains one of the most widely known toy brands but it needs to keep pace width changing tastes.

Is there anyone out there who has never, at any stage of their life, played with Lego?

If so, then you are in a tiny minority. According to Lego UK, three-quarters of UK households own Lego toys, while across the developed world the brand claims a 97% awareness rate.

The Lego brand has long dominated the UK construction toy market. Recently, however, it has been experiencing greater competition than at any time in its trading history. This year its UK market share dipped below 60% for the first time.

Challengers to Lego's dominance are now coming from all quarters. US competitor K'Nex has been making steady inroads into the UK: its market share rose from 10% to 16% in the first six months of this year.

And while Lego also competes with the rest of the toy industry - it claims a 15% share of the boys' toys market and a 5% share of the total UK toy market-it is facing growing competition from child-oriented computer entertainment.

"We compete with all other pulls on children's leisure time," says Michael Moore, head of marketing at Lego UK.

There are signs that the company has realised it is far from immune to the fickle nature of the UK's junior consumers.

Double review

Last week Lego UK announced that it was reviewing advertising for both its theme park Legoland Windsor and for Lego System, the traditional Lego bricks that account for 60% of sales.

The UK is demanding more attention and a more tailored marketing programme that will fit the audience. That is why Lego has pulled Lego System's pan-European ad account out of Copenhagen-based agency Advance.

"Legoland Windsor is looking for a new creative proposal for 1997, while Lego System is looking for a more local solution to various communications problems for the UK market for 1997," says Moore.

At Legoland's launch in March, marketing manager Joanna Oswin told Marketing that the selling point of the park was "the power of the Lego brand".

The decision to pool advertising for the theme park and Lego System, which is targeted at the same three- to 12-year-olds market, stems from the fact that both are susceptible to a new phenomenon, Kids Grow Older Younger- known as KGOY. …

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