Assignment: New Customer Segments.

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Assignment: New Customer Segments.

Assignment: New Customer Segments.

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With the advent of high‐tech forms of entertainment, such as the iPod and PlayStation, Lego found itself more antique than cutting edge in the toy world. When new CEO Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, a father and former McKinsey consultant, took over, the company was struggling with poor performance, missed deadlines, long development times, and a poor delivery record. The most popular toys frequently would be out of stock, and the company was unable to ship enough products or manage the production of its more complicated sets. Retail stores were frustrated, and that translated into reduced shelf space and ultimately to business losses.

Knudstorp changed all of that. He reached out to top retailers, cut costs, and added missing links to the supply chain. For example, prior to the new strategy, 90% of the components were used in just one design. Designers were encouraged to reuse components in their new products, which resulted in a reduction from about 13,000 different Lego components to 7,000. Because each component ’ s mold could cost up to 50,000 euros on average to create, this reduction saved signifi cant expense.

Lego was known for its traditional blocks and components that would allow children to build just about anything their imagination could create. The new strategy broadened the products, targeting new customer segments. Lego managers cre- ated products based on themes of popular movies, such as Star Wars and the Indiana Jones series. The company moved into video games, which featured animated Lego characters sometimes based on movies. The company created a product strategy for adults and engaged the communities who had already set up thousands of Web sites and blogs featuring Lego creations. It embraced the community who thought of Lego as a way to create art rather than simply as a building toy. And the company designed a line of Legos aimed at girls because the majority of its products had primarily targeted boys.

 

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