Observations by Claire Irving
According to a recent article I read, boys are driven by accomplishment and reward. As a mother of three boys under 6, I regularly pay 25 cents to motivate them to accomplish any number of menial tasks: putting on shoes, tidying up, etc. Now that my eldest two boys have reached four and six this need for motivations and incentive is becoming increasingly evident. I believe their brand du jour, LEGO, is perfectly placed to deliver on this.
LEGO stands for fun, imagination, creativity, and learning. Speaking as a parent of boys, it seems they consistently deliver on what kids enjoy. Their traditional product of bricks and blocks taps boys’ seemingly inherent and basic need to build, either solo or as a team. My boys take great pride in their constructions whether following by the box instructions or embarking on a free-style version. Partnering with the most in-vogue kids’ brands of today, LEGO knows how to continually connect with its consumers. The brand has steadily moved beyond building blocks to position itself as an experiential brand, the most obvious incarnation being their amusement parks. However their co-branding opportunities also point to this shift as my boys construct, animate and develop accompanying stories focused around their creations, seemingly absorbing the brand in every sense.
More recently, LEGO have done it again with their interactive games. They’ve tapped precisely into what makes boys tick: achievement and reward. A coyote could walk into our family room, devour their Starbursts and my boys would be oblivious until they had mastered their obsession – Lego Star Wars. As they reach the next level they scream – “I did it! I did it!” They trust LEGO – it helps them explore new concepts and the realms of what is personally possible whether virtually or concretely, whilst being a safe and rewarding experience. And, according to a recent study, the qualities learned while gaming contribute positively to building character and enabling users to deal more effectively with life and the world’s big issues.
As the lone female in my house often found endlessly searching for the final microscopic piece of LEGO IRON MAN, crucifying my feet on sharp bricks and being completely outdone on LEGO StarWars, at any level, I’ve realised LEGO can help me. They aren’t just pieces of small plastic that tempt my kids and crank up my credit card bill. LEGO gives my boys the building blocks to trust in their own imagination and creativity while building their self-esteem through a sense of accomplishment and reward. It’s well worth the time it takes to pick up the peices when they are done.