Horseshoes can’t protect you from the pain of stepping on a Lego

This week, Ferrari lost its title as the world’s most powerful brand, according to Brand Finance. Who could possibly be more powerful than a brand built on horsepower? Tiny little plastic blocks. Yes, Lego has stolen the spotlight.

9065246051_b4ac6a425f_bWe’re all familiar with Legos. Many of us spent hours throughout childhood bringing our imaginations to life with the little colorful blocks. And those of us who are parents all share the delightful experience of stepping on one …usually in the dark …while holding a small child.

We know them. We love them. But more powerful than Ferrari? Really?

Maybe you heard of a little film called “The Lego Movie”? Lego recently released a movie that appealed to a multi-generational audience. Kids love Legos. Older kids love a reason to still love Legos. Parents are nostalgic about Legos. They all wanted to see the movie. As a result, it was a huge success, generating more than $500 million since its release. In addition to the foundation it already had as a widely embraced toy for children age 2-12, the movie helped Lego drastically strengthen its brand power. And in this case, brand power wins over horsepower.

Most of us don’t manage one of the world’s most powerful brands, so can we learn from this? Think outside the blocks. (Get it?) Sure, Lego found great success with all kinds of creative ideas for its toys. But what really made the difference was its decision to get inside the heads of its target personas. Lego explored opportunities to appeal to the widest range of demographics possible and ended up making a movie. …which is leading to more movies and even more toys.

So, what new opportunities could you pursue for your brand? What (calculated) risks could you take that could help your company break through the Lego brick wall and overtake the Ferrari in your path?

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