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Nicole Taylor from The LEGO Group delivered 40 minutes of pure marketing gold on the RESET stage. Her passion for living the LEGO vision of 'learning through play' was palpable, as everyone in the room was encouraged to build and play with LEGO at their tables as she spoke. So, what were her tips for building a brand like LEGO? Here were some of our favourites:

Do it like Bey and Tay – “Fandom creates loyalty”

People are always talking about Beyonce and Taylor Swift. Not because they’re being paid to, not because they’re in ads or creating sponsored content, but simply because they love Bey and Tay’s music as well as what they stand for. It’s the same with LEGO. Their fans do so much of the talking for them because they’re so passionate about LEGO and everything that it represents.

Nic said, “Fandom is not the process of finding people who can talk positively about your brand and giving them a bit of money and seeing what happens…we have these fans who speak on our behalf all the time. People talk about loyalty not being a driver of growth, but fandom is.”

So how do we create fandom? “Create an emotional connection”. Don’t cut corners

Nic spoke about how when she was inducted into The LEGO Group, she was told the story of a toy maker who invented a wooden duck in 1932 and his point of difference was that he painted the duck three times. When he realised his son had decided it would be more efficient and entrepreneurial to paint the duck twice, he made his son collect every duck that had been delivered to a customer and paint the third coat on.

Nic said, “That philosophy of quality and craft exists in every choice we make. There is no cutting corners. If the colour of the brick isn't right and it's already been made, even if it’s already getting distributed, the company will call it back.”

Who knows your target audience better than… your target audience?

LEGO have an initiative called ‘LEGO Ideas’. Fans submit ideas for LEGO sets and if your idea gets 10,000 votes, your product is presented to the product team. If your idea is made, the original creator gets a share of the profits made by the product.

Nic explained, “In a world where creativity is democratised, think about how you might be able to allow your fans to participate in the creation of the product and the advertising. And think about what financial models you can come up with to make that happen.”

Pay attention to who is using your product

Sometimes things happen that aren’t a part of the strategy or that we didn’t plan for. Pay attention to these outliers because this is often where you find your growth opportunities. This is exactly what happened for LEGO. They never intended for LEGO to be used by adults but now they make up a huge percentage of their fandom and customer base. Here’s what Nic had to say about it:

“Kids are our role models. They are the audience we serve first and foremost. But the grown-up kids. They are huge for us now. And that was organic. We took notice that adults were buying our products. So, what happens if we create a whole portfolio dedicated to adults? What if we call it ‘Adults Welcome'? What if we turn the passions of this audience into beautiful products? What happens? I'll tell you what happens. Things go very well for us.”

Catch some behind the scenes content with Nic:

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