Angela Beckers

[Posted by Angela Beckers]

The highlight of Forrester’s Marketing Forum EMEA 2009 for me was the industry keynote speech by Conny Kalcher – Vice President Consumer Experiences at LEGO. Her presentation described LEGO’s path to recovery from the crisis that the firm faced in 2004 when profit had dropped drastically and the company was getting mired in debt to the point where there seemed no way out. What were the key elements in LEGO’s recovery? Focusing on the core of the business and its core customers, listening to its customers, and acting on what they said. In order to do so, Conny stated, there must be a shared vision throughout the company with a strong focus on the customer. This focus on the customer implied that LEGO had to clearly understand who its core customers are. So LEGO defined customer groups according to their level of affinity, starting with households that never or rarely buy LEGO products up to users who are ‘true fans’ – who spend a considerable amount on LEGO products and are actively involved in the LEGO community :

Affinity Pyramid:
— Lead users
↑ 1:1 community
↑ Connected community
↑ Active households
↑ Covered households
↑ All households

To move customers up the affinity pyramid, LEGO aims to create a connected brand experience and a shared enthusiasm – ‘The LEGO Experience DNA’ across a range of touch points. Here are a few numbers:
– 53 million LEGO hits on
– 259,000 ‘brick films’ on YouTube (1% of the videos on YouTube, by some estimates)
– 3.2M members in the LEGO club

Word of mouth is very important to LEGO and the activity of its fan communities is the best recommendation that the brand can get.

When it comes to measuring customer experience, LEGO places emphasis on Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure the impact of action plans and to drive ongoing improvements. LEGO’s NPS score increased 20% since 2005.

Particularly impressive is LEGO’s “Live NPS Program” – Customers who buy products in branches can indicate a score on their receipts at the moment they transact at the store. All negative feedback and comments are sent directly to the branch manager who has the obligation to respond within the same day. Conny described an example of one store where the response time for a manager to address low NPS feedback is as little as 24 minutes.

In the Q&A session at the end of the presentation, someone asked how Conny managed all the work. Her answer? “Like everyone else. But it helps if you love your job.”

Were you at the forum? Or did you follow the presentations via Twitter and UStream? What presentations were interesting to you? And what were your takeaways?