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Lego builds out Asia operation

Lego, the world’s second-biggest toymaker, is officially launching its latest construction set today based on the worldwide known yellowy animated sitcom – The Simpsons.

Since 2008, Lego has been delivering YOY revenue growth over 15% in the face of stiff competition from rival toymakers Mattel and Hasbro. The stellar result has been greatly helped by the success of its movies-themed kits and figures including Star Wars and Ninjago, the best-selling product lines in 2012.

Built on the back of its global success, recent years see Lego ramping up its Asia focus where sales have been booming. The Asia sales posted a solid growth in 2012 driven by the appeal of its movie-inspired product LEGO Ninjago.

The strong performance in Asia continues to last year where it outperformed major markets Europe and North and Latin America, seeing a sharpest growth in consumer sales in excess of 35% for the first half of 2013, according to Lego’s latest annual report.

“We are very satisfied with the growth we see in Asia, as it supports our long term ambition to make the region a larger contributor in the future,” said John Goodwin, CFO of the Lego Group.

“We have recently located our regional headquarter for Asia in Singapore and we will begin construction of our own in-region manufacturing facilities in China next year to further develop Asia as an engine for future growth,” he added.

In line with its Asia highlights, the toymaker up the ante for a Hollywood blockbuster “Lego Movie”, arriving on big screens across the globe next month which includes Hong Hong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia and Thailand.

Not surprisingly, a teaser combo have already been revealed on social media way ahead of the releasing day. It includes a movie trailer which has garnered more than 8 million views so far, and a dedicated Facebook page excessive for the Hong Kong market.

To bolster its Asia presence, Lego is fully embracing China social media as a core part of its digital marketing strategy with a Weibodouban account, on top of its global social presence on its over 6 million followers Facebook page and over 100,000 followers Twitter account.

The Danish toymaker has done a brilliant job in syncing offline to online with a user-friendly e-commerce site with Chinese-launuage version;  as well as flagship store on Tmall to cater to the Chinese.

As much as I admire Lego’s consistent efforts on e-commerce and social platforms, nothing compares to the engagement quality driven by its crowdsourcing initiatives.

At a global level, Lego hosts a crowdsourcing site, CUUSOO, which is used to gather ideas from Lego fans, with the most popular works be put into production; Heading back East, its Weibo frontage is also hosting a CNY campaign encouraging users to share their own creations for product prizes.

What’s more, Lego has managed to link the brand with current affairs.

For Lego’s list of marketing skills, there is still much more to say. It’s been frequently questioned if social media actually impacts sales, well evidently, Lego can give us some positive responses here.

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