Rebuilding an Icon: Lego’s Turnaround Strategy

How Lego Rebuilt Its Legacy Brick by Brick

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 I have always believed that Lego toys are the best possible catalysts for creative thinking. 

- Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Executive Chairman of The Lego Group


Lego's resurgence from near bankruptcy to becoming one of the world's most valuable toy companies is a testament to strategic innovation and effective brand partnerships.

This turnaround story involved streamlining operations, doubling down on the iconic brick, and rejuvenating the brand.

Real Life Story

Founded in 1932, Lego faced financial challenges by the late 1990s due to competition, sales decline, and mismanagement. Issues included:

  • An overextended product line diverting focus from its core blocks

  • An outdated brand image

  • A lack of innovation and market presence

Under Jørgen Vig Knudstorp's leadership as CEO and president, Lego returned to its core products, engaged with customers directly, leveraged nostalgia for the iconic branding, and established strategic licensing partnerships. Most notably, it expanded into Asian markets.

Knudstorp streamlined the workforce, discontinued loss-making products, exited the video game sector, and divested Legoland parks.

PostScript: Lego's remarkable recovery is showcased by its financial revival and restored reputation for fostering creativity. This re-established Lego as a top toy company globally, with a value in the billions.

Practical Tools

Here are 5 practical lessons for WarTime CEOs:

1. Refocus on Core Strengths: Prioritise products or services that capture the essence of your brand, ensuring they remain at the forefront of your strategy.

2. Engage Directly with Customers: Foster a direct connection with your audience to better understand their needs and tailor your offerings accordingly.

3. Streamline Operations: Eliminate unprofitable segments or products to enhance efficiency and allocate resources more effectively.

4. Embrace Strategic Partnerships: Form alliances and licensing deals to extend your brand's reach and access new markets.

5. Innovate and Expand: Continuously innovate within your core offerings while exploring opportunities for growth in new markets.

Find Out More

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Until next week, may the force be with you.


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