By Joe Pulizzi published January 4, 2011 Est Read Time: 3 min

LEGO Club Magazine & the Power of Print

Lego Club Magazine Ninjago

A few months ago I wrote a post on why print would come back in 2011.  Truth is, it never left.

Case in point. A few weeks ago my two boys received their LEGO Club magazines in the mail. The feature this month was a new series called Ninjago (which they had never heard of before reading the issue). Since that time, the following has occurred:

  • My kids know the full story of Ninjago, including the wise Sensei Wu and sleek Cole (yes, I know the characters).
  • Lobbied to use their Holiday gift certificates at Toys R Us buying a Ninjago spinning game (Spinjitzu) and a limited-edition Ninjago LEGO set (which they found out about from the magazine). Dad has yet to win at Spinjitzu, but I’m coming on strong.
  • The boys fought over using the computer before school so that they could play the Ninjago online game on LEGO.com.

To top that off, my oldest came into my office this morning before school, excited to tell me about the new Ninjago cartoon premiering on Cartoon Network January 14th.

Truth is, it’s not just about the magazine…it’s how the custom magazine integrates with everything else (distribution partners like Toys R Us and Cartoon Network, the website, the online games, the packaging, etc.).

LEGO is one of the best examples of telling a unique story that compels their customers to action. They do this in print (custom magazine and catalog), online (games and stories), in-person (LEGO club meetups), television (special LEGO series and DVD videos) and more.

Let’s look specifically at what LEGO does to deliver information to customers that creates a true LEGO experience.

  • LEGO has been delivering consistent content to customers in the form of a print magazine. They have been doing this at usually a 6x per year frequency for over 20 years (I used to get the original Brick Kicks in the 80s). The content has always revolved about how target consumers can take their products to the furthest level of their imaginations.
  • LEGO puts on targeted roadshows around the country for LEGO fans to meet with other fans and see LEGO creations, as well as contest opportunities.
  • LEGO promotes user-generated content EVERYWHERE. You’ll see this in the magazine and all over the Web site.
  • LEGO understands the end-user, but also understands the role of key influencers and other decision makers. To bring those decision makers into the fold, LEGO promotes family events and content specifically for parents (i.e., they target C-level executives).
  • LEGO leverages user case studies whenever possible.
  • LEGO segments their customer base with different types of content. While LEGO magazine is great for many of their customers, a good portion of their customer base, which I would consider the “high-spenders,” need more attention and have more advanced content needs. Thus, LEGO Brickmaster was born.
  • LEGO created a user discussion forum so that builders could connect with other builders. They also provide a social networking function where customers can personalize their pages and showcase their designs. Some companies outside of LEGO are now dedicated to enhance the LEGO experience (i.e., BrickJournal.com).
  • LEGO is a licensing king and has created non-traditional content channels such as gaming (LEGO Star Wars), movies (Bionicle and Exo-Force) and hundreds of book titles.

This is just some of the great content that LEGO is distributing consistently and frequently to their customers. And, it’s not just good content, it’s great content that mixes interesting stories with eye-catching design to create a true user experience.

And guess what? It starts with print.  Go figure.

For more on custom magazines, check out this post on the 10 Commandments for Custom Magazine Failure.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the bestselling author of seven content marketing books including his latest, Content Inc. He has founded four companies, including the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), and his newest venture, The Tilt. His podcast series, This Old Marketing with Robert Rose, has generated millions of downloads from over 150 countries. He is also the author of The Random Newsletter, delivered to thousands every two weeks. His Foundation, The Orange Effect, delivers speech therapy and technology services to children in 35 states. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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