Interview with LEGO: How its app engages with HK's kids

The LEGO Life mobile app has recruited more than 23,000 Hong Kong users, with 90% users fall between five- to 10-years old, in 1.5 months after its launch, outperformed other markets, according to LEGO.

The toy company aims to build a kids-safe social network for children aged 13 or below. It implements a number of measures to ensure the safety and security of personal information, such as proving users unique display names and avatars to protect users’ identities, moderating uploads and comments, along with rejecting images containing or revealing personal information.

The app bridges physical and digital play experiences by increasing sociability and personalisation. It allows kids to connect with a community of like-minded peers to express their creativity, share their LEGO creations, interact with LEGO characters, and inspire one another through uploading images and video posts. Participating in building and decorating challenges, taking part in polls, quizzes and competitions are other features as well.  The app also features avatars of users, LEGO emoji keyboard and photo stickers.

The app has been launched in over 40 markets since last year and has recruited 5.8 million users in 2017. On 15 October 2018, it was launched in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan .

It recruited 23,000 unique users in Hong Kong - 67% of Japan’s full year number of users from November 2017 to November 2018. Also it has garnered 1,026,000 total views, ahead of Korea (800,000) and Japan (500,000) in the same period of time (15 October - 27 November). While the total launch interactions for Hong Kong is 235,000 with 58,000 total likes, and the average time spent per user is 15.1 minutes.

For Hong Kong, the company aims to maintain monthly active users of 10,000 kids in the LEGO Life Community in the first year. Meanwhile, it also targets to increase active accounts from eight million in 2018 to 50 million in 2020 globally.

Candice Wong, digital marketing & e-commerce manager, Hong Kong & Taiwan, opens up to Marketing about the insights drawn from the launch of the app.

Marketing: What are the drivers for the result?
Wong: We believe the unique proposition of the app which ties to local consumer insights is the key. Parents in Hong Kong are very conscious of kids’ digital consumption and concerned about the online privacy and safety. LEGO®LIFE, adhering to the highest standard of child safety online, eases parents’ concern over privacy or safety issues. For instance, kids are not allowed to use their real photos and names on the app. Instead, they will be given their own identities by creating unique Minifigure and user name. Meanwhile, as a platform for kids to “learn through play”, LEGO®LIFE echoes with parents’ needs to nurture kids’ creativity and social skills during leisure time.

On the other hand, for kids, LEGO®LIFE creates a unique kids-only social community where they can express their creativity with like-minded peers with pride, and inspire each other through interactions such as likes and comments.

We also provide personalised content according to their interest by prioritising topics they showed interest on their daily feeds.

With an insight-driven approach, LEGO Hong Kong has transformed global assets into a local campaign and launched activities in favour of local kids’ interest. We positioned ourselves as a “solution provider”, which not only helps drive downloads, but also and more importantly, recruits active users. We are ambitious to build the largest local community for kids in Hong Kong.

Marketing: The app targets youngsters aged below 13, how to reach them through marketing efforts?
Wong: To reach kids under 13, we believe it is important to reach out to both parents and kids in a responsible way. Digital consumption by kids below 6 years old are heavily dependent by parents. To target parents with kids aged 6 or below, other than our own social media channels, we have partnered with well recognised local parenting sites (e.g. Sunday Kiss) to deliver the key message that LEGO®LIFE is a kids-safe social networking platform where kids can “learn through play”. In addition, we also worked with local “mother groups” to spread the message by word of mouth to the local parents’ community.

While to inform kids about the app, especially those above 6 years old, we invested in kids’ video channels and app network with the key message that LEGO®LIFE is full of stuff for kids to inspire each other and be inspired, and that they can have their own community with loads of fun. Our objective of reaching to kids through LEGO®LIFE is to provide a fun and enjoyable LEGO community instead of commercial selling.

Marketing: Is the app helpful to collect data to draw marketing insight?
Wong: LEGO®LIFE intends to provide customised and personalised content to the kids. Meanwhile, it also allows us to better understand our kids in Hong Kong. There are different groups (eg. LEGO City, LEGO Friends) where the kids can “follow” on LEGO®LIFE according to their interests, this allows us to understand their preferences in order to provide the most relevant content to them.

We also contain content like polling, which allows us to get some insights from kids regarding their passion points or latest trends. Last but not least, we’ve just introduced “Product Registration” function on selected products where kids, under parent’s consent, can scan their box sets and build their own collections inside the App. All these allows us to put kids at the centre of our brand and provide more customised digital and physical play experience to them. We aim at making LEGO®LIFE an extension of their LEGO play experience, rather than replacing physical play which we know is so important to children’s development and well-being.