danth

German Toy Fair – LEGO To Increase Focus On AFOLs

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On February 13, 2020 at 11:32 AM, Gomek said:

As the head of the company my next question would be "Are these 20% influencers?"

Not to belittle the role of social media in general (if it weren't for social media and their fondness for playing fast and loose as to what constitutes a "reputable source" or total inability to distinguish fact from fiction, the US would probably have a President who knew the difference between Mexico and Monaco, could spell "Afghanistan", realized that Puerto Rico wasn't a third world country, could pass an 8th grade Civics test and knew that he couldn't redirect hurricanes simply by scribbling on a map with a Sharpie - but I digress...), but what little Influence Marketing (IM) literature is out there doesn't suggest that it would have a major impact on TLG bottom line (at least not in its current form).

To begin with, there are a lot more people out there who consider themselves influencers than people who actually impact sales in a noticeable way.  As marketing firms are now discovering, simply having followers doesn't mean the masses agree with you or take your advice - some studies have even found contrarian effects (e.g. "If you like it, and I know you have terrible taste, I'll avoid it completely.  If you hate it, it might be worth checking out")

Several studies have also shown that Influencers are far more likely to hurt sales than encourage them.  This is not the same as the contrarian effect, above, (and entirely different from a celebrity falling from grace and hurting the brand by association) but rather it seems that currently social media consumers are more take a bad review to heart than a positive one.  If you tell me you loved something and I should try it, statistically speaking, I'm likely to ignore you.  If you tell me something is crap and you regret ever wasting money on it, I'm far more likely to remember your comment and ultimately decide not to repeat your mistake.

Further, if 10 or 20% of your sales really were to adult influencers, by definition, you'd already know who these consumers are.  Influencers are just celebrity endorsements in a new medium.  You can't really be social influencer without a certain level of notoriety and clout (at least within a certain community) and that just doesn't mesh with mass  sales to anonymous adults.  The people who really do have that sort of clout often aren't buying sets, they are running web sites and YouTube channels and getting evaluation copies of sets for review directly from Lego because TLG has noticed _them_ and recognized the marketing value of _their_ opinions  before the kits ever hit the shelves.  If you don't have the "brick-cred" to qualify for a few free kits from Lego in exchange for a some blog postings, you're probably not as big an influencer as you think you are (at least not with respect to the the Lego consumer community).  Certainly some of the over-the-counter sales are to adults with strong reps in the AFOL community or to mainstream celebrities who might help make the vague argument that "Legos are cool" to non-Lego consumers, but if only 10% of your revenue is coming from adult consumers in the first place, the amount coming from adults who really _could_ impact Lego's social acceptance overall is likely miniscule.

Finally, IM has been shown to have the most resonance on late teens and 20 somethings.  Maybe I'm projecting too much but I think that age range really overlaps with most people's Dark Ages.  Could IM help delay the onset of a dark age or encourage some one to come out of one earlier (or at all) - maybe, I really have no clue.   At least personally, lack of interest wasn't what forced me into a dark age to begin with (It was lack of money and time as I was getting ready to go to college and had to figure out how to pay for it) so if someone I respected told me about a great Lego set they'd just gotten my reaction wouldn't have been to think, I need to get that too, I probably would have just been bitter and jealous - fortunately I'm much more mature now and can focus on being a grumpy old man regardless of who has the most toys. :wink:

2 hours ago, Brandon Pea said:

Ok.....so who's saying what? I'm confused now! 

Embrace it.  Clarity will just give you ulcers.  A little recognized and compartmentalized confusion can be a liberating thing.

:sweet:

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4 hours ago, Mylenium said:

I'm afraid it's still not a conclusive logical argument in terms of how it might affect overall sales. Your cousin is likely more the exception than the rule. We mustn't get lost in our own bubble too much. That scene may not be economically unimportant, but its certainly not the main drive behind LEGO's business.

Mylenium

I'm not sure Lego agrees. At the two Lego stores I frequent, they put the Modular buildings and USC sets (and really any adult targeted set) right up in the front window and the most visible areas of the store. (And maybe it's not the same everywhere, but I imagine at least regional)

Also I'm not privy to the exact marketing strategy of Lego Masters, but it doesn't seem like it's being marketed to just adults. Could be that some kids might also see the show and be inspired by Adult builders. It wouldn't shock me. They might even be influenced.

And again, definitely not saying adults need to be the main focus of Lego's anything, but there are secondary and tertiary benefits to making some effort to cater to the adult market.

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12 minutes ago, Gomek said:

At the two Lego stores I frequent, they put the Modular buildings and USC sets (and really any adult targeted set) right up in the front window and the most visible areas of the store.

OMG! That's exactly what they do at the three Lego stores near me. 

Edited by Brandon Pea

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On 2/14/2020 at 2:37 PM, Gomek said:

At the two Lego stores I frequent, they put the Modular buildings and USC sets (and really any adult targeted set) right up in the front window

Dallas and Austin do this as well.
 

On 2/14/2020 at 2:37 PM, Gomek said:

Lego Masters, but it doesn't seem like it's being marketed to just adults

I have zero interest in that show. My 10yr old daughter is all about it. She just bitches that they talk to much about the builders and don't do enough building.
 

On 2/14/2020 at 2:53 PM, Brandon Pea said:

three Lego stores near me

… You suck. (teasing)
I have to drive 90 mins and 4 hours to my stores and I consider myself fortunate. You are so very blessed Brandon.

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35 minutes ago, Masked Mini said:

… You suck. (teasing)

I have to drive 90 mins and 4 hours to my stores and I consider myself fortunate. You are so very blessed Brandon.

Don't mean to brag, but two of them takes only a subway ride to get to. LOL 

The other one, I have to drive to. 

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36 minutes ago, Masked Mini said:

I have to drive 90 mins and 4 hours to my stores and I consider myself fortunate. You are so very blessed Brandon.

I also have a LEGO Store near me... It's like just 20 minutes of driving.

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44 minutes ago, Brandon Pea said:

Don't mean to brag, but two of them takes only a subway ride to get to. LOL 

Hee hee - OK, here we go:

  • 8 min walk to the train station, 35 min train-ride (train comes every 30 min; I don't like cars with only one person inside ...) + 7 min walk to the LEGO store in Cologne = 50 min
  • 8 min + 45 min train-ride (trains come every 20 min) + 15 min walk to the LEGO store in Essen = 1h 8 min
  • 8 min + 20 + 30 + 10 min train/tram ride + 15 min walk to the one in Oberhausen = 1h 23 min

And here it comes:

  • 15 min bus ride + 15 min walk to the BL Store "FigsBricks" (10793) in Mettmann - they have about 11,500 lots on average in one very nicely organized warehouse - just returned from a trip today - 1.7 kg of 2xX plates in blue, light blue, white, sand-stone in need for my layout ... (was by car = 10 min)

:innocent2::innocent2::innocent2:

Ahh one more: Each year we go on vacation to Denmark for one or two weeks; the island Fanoe that is. Beautiful, relaxed place, wonderful people. And it is a 1h 20 min drive by car to Billund. Nice place. They have a cool store there as well:wink:

Yes, I do consider myself >very< fortunate - it is close to LEGO heaven, I believe ...
Best
Thorsten

   

Edited by Toastie
well - math ...

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@Toastie Ah yes! Takes much longer by train. 

Unless the entrance to the subway is right in the malls where the Lego shops are. No buses needed. Then there is my house, which is right around the corner from the subway. Walking distance to be exact. Trains run every three to five minutes where I live. 

Edited by Brandon Pea

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4 hours ago, Brandon Pea said:

in the malls where the Lego shops are

@Brandon Pea Wow! Are these malls with shops that have LEGO or are these official LEGO Stores? I was talking about the latter ...

Best,
Thorsten 

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27 minutes ago, Toastie said:

@Brandon Pea Wow! Are these malls with shops that have LEGO or are these official LEGO Stores? I was talking about the latter ...

Best,
Thorsten 

In the USA every single LEGO Brand Store, not in a huge mega city like NYC, is outside the city itself and in an enclosed mall. Boston has 3-4 stores, every one is in a mall and none actually in Boston itself. Rochester NY has one in a mall 10 miles south of the city. NYC has them in street stores near subway stops as there aren't a ton of malls there.

Edited by Maple

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51 minutes ago, Toastie said:

@Brandon Pea Wow! Are these malls with shops that have LEGO or are these official LEGO Stores? I was talking about the latter ...

Best,
Thorsten 

Official Lego stores my friend. :classic:

Edited by Brandon Pea

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COOO OOOOOOO OOOOO OO OOL.

Now that you and @Maple clarified that - every very early summer, around June 1st, a good part of my research group (about 10 people, depending on funds acquired) and I are traveling to the ASMS conference in the US. As there are about 7500 people attending, it is always in fairly "large" cities, with enough hotel capacity; Philadelphia, Boston, San Diego, Houston, San Antonio, Denver, Seattle, and so forth. We usually rent a house big enough and a bit away from the conference, and then take a day off shopping. Yes, a good number of major malls have such a store. +5 kg in my luggage upon return ...

There are differences though, aren't there? When we lived in SoCal, the store in South Coast Plaza was considerably smaller than the one in Downtown Disney. That was a nice one. Or are they all the same, nowadays?   

What about warehouse sized BL Stores? Also in walking distance:wink:?

Hah! The Billund LEGO store though is >gigantic<. I mean - this is where LEGO came to birth ... I believe they are showing that off a bit.

All the best
Thorsten

 

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On 2/12/2020 at 4:30 PM, danth said:

I think there is a distinction between an AFOL and an adult who will occasionally buy licensed Lego if it's from a movie/show they enjoy. 

The latter is not really a fan of Lego per se. 

While "real" AFOLs might not class one-off buyers of LEGO sets as AFOLs, I imagine they are high up on the types of adults LEGO wants to target. As a "real" AFOL (in the sense that I already buy LEGO for myself) my spend is fairly consistent from year to year. There probably isn't much LEGO can do to make me spend more. If they do something I like, I'll buy it but it will be at the expense of something else. Whereas the person that doesn't buy much LEGO already, they are a fairly untapped resource. LEGO targeting more casual buyers (that may become "real" AFOLs) with licensed or other adult focused sets makes sense.

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On February 16, 2020 at 4:33 PM, Toastie said:

There are differences though, aren't there? When we lived in SoCal, the store in South Coast Plaza was considerably smaller than the one in Downtown Disney. That was a nice one. Or are they all the same, nowadays?  

Very true, not all stores are created equal.  I live in the Boston area so I'm lucky to have four stores in easy driving distance plus a Discovery Center gift shop (the latter being about a half hour walk, 45 minutes by train, or an hour's drive away - welcome to Boston traffic)  My preferred store is actually rather small as store fronts go (more than a little cramped and it's best not to try and shop there during a build event unless you want to wade through a sea of kids to get to the registers) but their back room is larger than their retail space and is usually very well stocked so the only real place size matters is in room to display "floor models" and the Pick-a-Brick wall - which is always too small and sparsely stocked for my tastes but with five walls to choose from I feel a bit ashamed if I complain. 

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On 2/16/2020 at 4:33 PM, Toastie said:

What about warehouse sized BL Stores? Also in walking distance:wink:?

Store sizes vary. I haven't been to a LEGOLAND but I'd guess that those would be the biggest. I don't even know where the Philly store is, but it's not downtown. Yet there are two H&M stores within half a km. 

However I have never heard of a BL store warehouse type thing. 

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On 2/16/2020 at 2:42 PM, Masked Mini said:

I have to drive 90 mins and 4 hours to my stores and I consider myself fortunate. You are so very blessed Brandon.

Used to be no stores in my country at all until like a few months ago, so glad to have one within about 45 minutes now.

But besides being fairly close, it's also the one in the probably one of the most crowded shopping streets of Amsterdam so I won't expect finding "rare" stuff in the BAM much.

The other new store in the country (Utrecht) would be reachable in about 1 hour, but from what I read it's a smaller sized Store.

 

Later in the year, a LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is supposed to open but that's a bit further away from me.

Edited by TeriXeri

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