Isabel Graham, head of Marketing at the Lego Group, talks to Toy World about Lego’s latest toy and entertainment launches, its approach to experiential retail, and what new ranges we can look forward to this year.
Lego entered 2023 on strong footing, with full-year 2022 revenue up +17% on the same period in 2021. It also celebrated its 90th birthday in 2022, marking the occasion with a raft of activities. Of the back of this momentum, Lego has been busy unveiling new products, content and experiences at a rapid rate, as Isabel explains.
“March saw us launch a Lego Botanicals Flower Stall in Waterloo station, to drive awareness and consideration of the Lego Botanicals range as an alternative to real flowers for Mother’s Day gifting,” she says. “In April we celebrated Easter with Lego brick treasure hunts and in May we launched Lego Dreamzzz, a new homegrown entertainment IP inspired by the creativity of children’s dreams. In May we opened our first store south of the river, in Battersea, and launched the latest series of Lego Ninjago Dragons Rising by inviting families to a viewing party at Lego Store Leicester Square. Finally, most recently, we announced that we’ve teamed up with the stars of women’s football to inspire children to ‘Play Unstoppable’.”
The May launch of Lego Dreamzzz saw the company broaden its portfolio with an increased focus on storytelling, imagination and experimentation. Isabel tells us: “This isn’t just the launch of a new franchise of products, we are introducing a new entertainment IP for our biggest Lego fans: kids.”
May was a busy month indeed, as the Lego Group then opened its new Battersea store. Isabel says retail expansion and innovation is an important area that Lego will continue to invest in, with physical store experiences becoming more immersive and entertaining. And in the same month, the company also launched Play Unstoppable, a new initiative focused on celebrating the endless potential of girls when they are given opportunities to play without limits. Some of the world’s best female footballers are on board.
Lego’s retail partners remain key to Lego achieving its business objectives, and the company works closely with them to create and execute campaigns. For example, as part of the Lego Friends Universe re-launch, it has launched pop-up Lego Friends stores in Harrods, hosted Make and Take events at Smyths, run competitions with retailers to win Lego Friends Bundles and had a Lego Friends Hamleys window takeover – plus tonnes of online takeovers too, with homepage banners, dedicated landing pages and more.
The company is also aware of the pressures families are under due to prevailing economic headwinds.
“With the rising cost of living, we’re well aware that families are being squeezed more than ever,” Isabel says. “At the Lego Group we’re proud to offer a large range of products with price points to suit a range of budgets. Lego products are created to offer endless and timeless play experiences for kids of all ages. Our focus is to deliver great play experiences to children all over the world, offering the opportunity to rebuild, recreate and assemble whatever their imagination dreams up, offering plenty of play value for decades.”
To find out about the new products Isabel is most looking forward to this year and how content and campaigns are being leveraged to boost awareness and sales of Lego’s newest IPs, read the full interview, which was published in the July issue of Toy World, here.