We’ve mentioned LEGO and Co-Creation in the same breath a few times before. For good reason.
Wind back to 2011 just before the last big recession (with hindsight, it doesn’t seem so bad). Back then LEGO’s customer base was 90% boys. It wasn’t rocket science, there was a huge market they weren’t tapping into. So why didn’t many girls buy LEGO toys?
Through their ‘camping with consumers’ Co-Create initiative, the LEGO team travelled the world, spending time with girls of all ages and their families. They stepped into their daily lives to understand how girls played. How boys played. How they played together, differently. How they played with friends compared to on their own. How sisters and brothers interacted. How some toys were first out of the toy box while others gathered dust.
Fast forward a year.
‘LEGO Friends’ is a new product range – designed for girls. It’s launched in 2012, during the global downturn. And it’s a game-changer from day one, boosting LEGO’s sales by 25% in its first year.
Central to this new LEGO concept is core characters, a new suburban world, personalities and interests – friendships – not just bricks. The very details girls look for when playing with their dolls. Details the LEGO team spotted through constant research and conversations with the end customer.
This initiative did something bigger than sell more LEGO products. Broadening the brand’s appeal to girls is helping to bridge the gender gap around the world.
‘WOMEN of NASA’ was launched in 2017. It became Amazon’s number one best-selling toy in just 24 hours. And it inspired careers as well as shifting units. Women of NASA is aspiring girls to want to work in technical professions, space travel and engineering. It proves they can and it’s perfectly normal (which it is!).
All this is a result of Co-Creation. With the audience they wanted – and needed – to appeal to continue to thrive during challenging times.
Timely inspiration for brands looking to bounce back stronger from Covid-19, we’d say.