Brand Building
March 03, 2016

3 Ways Building a Brand is Like Working with Legos (Plus 1 Way it’s Not)

For almost 60 years, Lego bricks have been a favorite toy for millions of kids (and some adults) around the world. In fact, they have been named “Toy of the Century” two times – a feat that’s almost as impressive as the math is mind-blowing.

One of the toy’s most appealing characteristics is the ability it gives users to flex their creative and engineering muscles, creating something out of nothing and ending up with a finished product they can be proud of.

Building a brand can produce the same sense of accomplishment as placing the final brick on that perfect Lego creation, and the creation processes included in both are very similar. Here are three ways brand building and brand strategy creation are like working with Legos, plus one important difference:

  1. Expect (and Appreciate) the Unexpected. Often you find the correct pieces to complete the building in unexpected places – that random red brick that allows for the building to stand falls in line with the unexpected brand element that comes seemingly out of nowhere to fit right in line with the overall brand.
  2. It Takes a Village to Build the Castle. Brand building is an all-hands-on-deck experience, with vital perspectives necessary from a number of areas of the business. This ensures that allLEGO Friends.  Only for use with permission from LEGO. Copyright. LEGObases are covered and that the resulting brand is comprehensive and applicable across the board. Anyone who has opened a box of Legos for a pre-designed structure know that each piece, no matter how big or how small, is crucial to complete the overall build.
  3. It’s OK to Go a Little Crazy. Each brand is different, and there is no blueprint for what makes a successful brand that fits with every situation, and therefore it’s encouraged to think outside the box. Sometimes these are the ideas that bring it all together, filling a space that would have gone overlooked if creativity was taken out of the equation, just as it would be if you only followed the printed instructions for Lego building – how much fun is that?

However, the link between these two activities does have one exception:

  1. Know Where the Build is Taking You. There are times when you just start grabbing Lego bricks and putting them together with no idea what the final result will be. While this is a great creative outlet, it is not a sound brand strategy. Knowing where you want your brand to end up and having at least a general idea of the finished product will drive each action and decision to a common point, eliminating the time (and money) wasting that could derive from an unstructured branding process.

Even with the one exclusion to the list, building a brand and building with Legos should have the same end result – a successful production of something great for you and those around you.

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Addison Whitney is a global branding firm with a passion for building strong brands.
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