A former Lego boss advised people to embrace failure to ensure future brand prosperity during an insightful and refreshingly open talk.
Christian Majgaard was involved with the mega-brand for more than 40 years and spoke to a full house at a talk arranged by Lancashire Forum at Brockholes Nature Reserve. He talked about the phenomenal growth of the business, which started by making wooden toys and building blocks in 1932.
Christian said every situation should be evaluated and criticised to help you learn from your mistakes– there are always lessons to be learnt.
He said all businesses (even Lego!) go through tricky patches, but he admitted that it’s the bold decisions that can pay dividends. Whether that’s entering a new market or choosing to restrict the products you offer, with each risk there is the chance of reward.
Christian said as well as making the most in seasonal sales variations, businesses should take a longer view – and sometimes join the disrupters in your market. He gave the example of films and computers taking over traditional games. You only need to look at the collaboration with Star Wars and Disney and the various ‘themed’ sets you can buy to see how Lego ensured their toys were kept at the top of the Christmas wish list.
Christian said the company has made a number of strategic choices to ensure the brand stays relevant and current. He said at the heart of every decision was the customer’s user experience. He said it was crucial to understand your customer and their needs and stressed that marketing should be a two-way street.
When looking to grow and expand into new markets, Christian advised businesses to just change one thing at a time so that the success of that one variable could be measured. He also stressed how businesses should look at the value their product or service offers rather than simply the price tag.
Just like Lego, Christian also advised businesses that if they have a niche product in a niche market, they should go international. This proved to be exceptionally successful for Lego.
When trying to grow your brand, he advised business owners to talk honestly rather than being artificial. By sharing their vision for the company and the brand with everyone in an open and honest way, employees and the general marketplace will be able to see where the brand is heading.
When hiring, he also recommended hiring people from the future – people whose skills match the vision you have for the company and the direction you plan to take. He also advised hiring people who were better than you to ensure the workforce has the skills necessary to succeed.
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