To me, there is nothing more inspiring than a success story – especially the rags-to-riches stories. Here’s one of my favourite stories I would like to share you: The Lego success story.
Have you heard about Lego? Sure you do. Well, if you haven’t (seriously – how come?) Lego is a worldwide popular brand of construction toys. When you see construction toys made of bricks, be sure that it’s Lego – or at least it’s inspired by Lego.
Lego appeals both kids and grownups, and carving a niche where creative people young and old can enjoy the same kind of toys – this is one of a kind, really.
There are plenty of lessons you can learn from the Lego history. You can just visit Lego Wikipedia page. But audio-visual would work best – so, I’d like to share a great video. The Lego Story – a nice short story about the early days of Lego up until today.
This short animation – created to celebrate Lego’s 80th anniversary in 2012 – can tell you pretty much about the story behind LEGO – it’s a good one, even if you don’t really like animated movie. So, just sit back and relax – it’s a 17 minutes video worth-watching:
Very inspiring, indeed! I barely knew about the story behind Lego – how it continues to innovate and set trends for decades. Now, discuss the movie, shall we?
Lessons learned from the Lego story
There are many lessons you can learn from the success story – here are what I learn from Lego…
1. Failures will bring you success – if you have the right attitude
Right from the start, Ole Kirk Christiansen – in the midst of hardship, including the pressure to support his 4 children – not mentioning the fact that he lost of his wife (it’s one, HUGE pressure!) – his back was put against the wall; it’s make or break time.
Ole did it, establishing a wooden toy business which 2 years later was called “Lego” – from the Danish phrase leg godt (“play well”)
Just like any successful businesses, Lego has its ups and down, including business-threatening fire – twice.
What makes Lego a success is the leaders’ mindset that when you were trampled down by problems, what you need to do is to pick up the pieces and move on – giving up is not an option!
2. Continuous innovation – don’t procrastinate!
When your product is a success, don’t procrastinate! Keep on innovating, and before you know it, you’ll find more success.
Lego was made legendary by its interlocking plastic bricks, but toys are no longer its, well “toys” – Lego is now expanding to numerous line of products – accessories, minifigures, thematic/licensed niches (Lego Duplo, Lego Technic, Bionicle, Hero Factory, Star Wars, NinjaGo, Harry Potter, etc.,) and so on – including Legoland – a chain of Lego-themed theme parks.
Innovation makes you harder to catch up by your competitors. When your product is a success, there’s always a tendency for your competitors to copy what you do and modify it to be better than yours; innovation keeps distance between you and your competitors, while allowing you to secure your market share as the “pioneer.”
3. Solve problems
Before plastic bricks, Lego toys were made of wooden parts. But as wooden parts are challenging to be kept intact, Lego finds for ways to keep the parts sticking together even when you move the construction set to somewhere else; thus born the infamous interlocking plastic bricks.
Want to be successful? Solve problems.
4. Focus on quality
As we – especially parents – all know it, Lego sets don’t come cheap. It’s because Lego’s company culture says no to sacrifice quality for profits.
Did you know Lego’s motto? In Danish, det bedste er ikke for godt, which more or less means “only the best is the best” – Lego’s commitment to quality since it was established back in 1932.
Don’t trap your business in price wars; continue to add value and offer quality – because that will differentiate your business with the rest.
5. Build a community
There are many official and unofficial Lego community worldwide, holding Lego building events, competitions, and so on – this will buzz Lego brand and will continue to do so in the future.
Products are just products until you have a community raving about them; then they become something more than products; they will become collectibles and something that attract enthusiasts to gather and do something together – with your products as a spotlight.
Success stories are just stories until you can learn something useful from them. The Lego story can inspire you to do better for your business – be sure to practice what you learn and write your own success story.
Any lessons you learn from Lego? If so, please share yours on this blog post’s comment form so we can together benefit from it.