You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t know about LEGO. The Danish company that originated in the small town of Billund in 1932 manufactures 120 million bricks every day and sells 75 billion annually – LEGO people (mini figures) outnumber humans. Add to that nine LEGOLAND Parks in Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and in Asia, plus three feature films and two in development.
The number of LEGO people (minifigures) in existence outnumbers humans
Up until 1998, LEGO had not posted a loss in its’ 66 years’ of existence, and by 2003 the company was in dire straits. LEGO was $800 million in debt and sales were down 30 per cent. In 2015 LEGO announced profits of $1.1 billion – in the space of two years (2008-2010) profits had quadrupled. But how?
LEGO’s revival has been called the greatest corporate comeback – check out Brick by Brick: How Lego Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry – and CEO Jorgen Vig Knudstorp is often hailed as a model for innovation.
Knudstorp rescued LEGO by methodically rebuilding it: slashing inventory, focusing on their core expertise and encouraging interaction with consumers and fans. This included launching a crowdsourcing competition – LEGO Ideas. The customer-led open innovation platform enables anyone to suggest and launch new ideas for LEGO products and services. The winning ideas are taken to market and their originators receive one per cent of their product’s net sales.
The LEGO Ideas platform – wholly owned and managed by LEGO – built on the company’s Japan-based pilot Cuusoo and launched in 2014, led by one of our partners 100%Open. LEGO Ideas now boasts more than 800,000 members and has generated in excess of 10,000 ideas.
LEGO has the proven ability to engage with people, something which many credit to their success
Whether it’s through crowdsourcing, conventions (Brickworld) or collaborations (LEGO Architecture), LEGO has the proven ability to engage with people, something which many business and brand analysts credit to their success. Armed with a decade’s worth of research into the ways children play, a suite of pilots including LEGO Fusion and LEGO Life, and the ambitious and highly secretive R&D team, Future Lab, LEGO are intent on continuing to innovate and invent their future.
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