The manufacturer had originally intended to limit the run of the Ninjago range for three years after launching in early 2011 but strong sales performance and strong user engagement with the brand online prompted Lego to extend it past the end of 2013.
Mark Fothergill, Lego’s head of children’s community and moderation, says the move is a relatively novel one for the brand, plus this decision reflects how the business is increasingly using online listening tools and data to influence operations.
He says: “Normally you’d continue a successful product line. But that’s not always the case with Lego because the focus is about keeping things fresh… The use of social is becoming bigger and the dragnet is also becoming bigger [in terms of how the consumer feedback is used].”
Lego has also shifted to using online forums, such as Lego Cuuso or its message boards, to both engage with “super fans” and gauge customer demand for certain product ranges.
This includes canvassing fans over potential future product launches, encouraging them to devise and promote a concept among their peers with Lego eventually considering the most popular ideas for production.
Fans are further incentivised to participate with Lego paying them one per cent of the royalties generated with each successful launch (see video at bottom of page).
“We ask our users [or customers] how they feel about things and try to give them what they want [provided Lego can source a product licence],” adds Fothergill.