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If you’re a longtime listener of Marketing Trends, you know that we have always been big fans of LEGO and its marketing journey. So we were thrilled to welcome to the show Michael Moynihan, the Vice President of Marketing at LEGO. We picked his brain about how LEGO was able to take its marketing strategy to a whole new stratosphere thanks to things like digital experiences and entertainment properties. But the success did not come overnight. It was a long trip to that stratosphere, and Michael was there for it all, so he has a lot of wisdom to share.

3 Takeaways:

Digital platforms can work as an accelerant to drive interest in a physical product

– Lego is not an entertainment company, it is a building company and any entertainment properties surrounding Lego have to be released with a strong story in a way that celebrates the brand

– Partnerships have to be sustainable and create value for all parties involved

Key Quotes:

“Marketing gives you a chance to stretch all sides of your brain. It’s super analytical at times and it’s also super creative at times.”

“We realized is that digital platforms can actually be accelerants to driving more interest in Lego. So rather than seeing video games as a threat, we ultimately came to realize that they can be a huge opportunity. And we ended up building one of the more successful video game franchises in history. And we did this not to just simply capture licensing volume from video games because the world had plenty of video games. What we wanted to do is think about how do we create video game experiences that can inspire offline building.”

“[When considering doing a movie] the most important thing is really having the right story in a way that celebrates our brand in the right way.”

“The assumption is that if we’re creating value for our consumers, for our retail partners, for our employees, for society at large, ultimately it will come back to us.”

“One of the things that we think is probably common with a lot of companies that experience sustained growth is that you have this bias that you feel like the near future is going to look like the present. You don’t anticipate a lot of change and so what’s the incentive to do anything differently because what you’re doing now is working.”

“More media experiences are now starting in search bars rather than with remote controls.”

“There’s a premium being placed on people who are comfortable in the ambiguity — people who can take risks around and innovate around new ways of doing things.”

“One of the things that we’ve adopted is this mindset that when it comes to partnerships, it really needs to be about mutual value creation. That is the only way of generating sustainability in a partnership.”

“Use consumers and shoppers as your north star. Everything else is noise.”


Michael Moynihan currently serves as the Vice President of Marketing for The LEGO Group. He has been with LEGO since 1996. Prior to joining LEGO, Michael held the role of Assistant Marketing Manager for General Mills. 

Michael holds a Bachelors’s degree from Bowdoin College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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