Monthly Archives: September 2014

Not Just Another Brick In The Wall

Lego has finally clinched the top toy maker spot, edging out perennial power Mattel in both revenue and profit. Their revenue increased by 11% in the first six months this year, amplified by “The Lego Movie” merchandise, making it the largest toy company in the world by revenue and profit, surpassing Mattel Inc.

Lego logo. (image form

Lego logo. (image form

Lego’s amazing success is not by chance, but by a calculated and precise business model incorporated by CEO Jorgen Vig Knudstorp in 2004. This plan, which revolves around bringing it “back to the brick”, initiated Lego’s climb to toy supremacy. The strategy focused on its core products, ignoring brand-stretching, and even selling its theme parks. He also introduced stricter management controls, for example limiting the number of different pieces that the company produced from 12,900 to 7,000.

The balance between tradition and innovation instituted by Mr. Knudstorp has allowed Lego to thrive. It keeps a steady flow of basic preset models as templates for consumers, but its progress onto the big screen has elevated it into a new realm. With its intellectual property the star of the film, a whole line of toys and a new fan base has been created. With a Lego Movie sequel scheduled for released in 2017, and their Ninjago movie—based on Lego’s ninja-themed product range, scheduled for next year, the sky is the limit for Lego.

The Lego Movie poster. (image from

The Lego Movie poster. (image from

Works Cited

Hansegard, Jens. “Oh, Snap! Lego’s Sales Surpass Mattel.” Sept. 4, 2014 2014.Web. <>.

Nelson, Jacqueline. “Lego’s blueprint for success, one brick at a time.” July 17, 2014 2014.Web. <>.



A Blockbuster Mistake

The demise of former movie rental giant Blockbuster is a prime example of the consequences of failing to adapt to consumer trends. The corporation recently closed its last 300 corporate stores. Less than 50 franchises remain open, a far cry from the 6500 stores open in 2010.

Despite popular belief, Blockbuster did not fall because of Netflix; in fact, it had several opportunities to purchase the online company, the first being in the year 2000 for $50 million. Additionally, by 2007, Blockbuster had crushed Netflix with its Total Access online service, with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings receiving permission from his board to begin merger talks with Blockbuster.

Instead of buying the company and securing hegemony of the movie renting industry, Blockbuster turned down the opportunity. A new CEO, James W. Keyes, then introduced a revamped business strategy that involved de-emphasizing the unprofitable Total Access online service, in favor of an in-store, retail-oriented model.


Closing Blockbuster store. (image from

Blockbuster Logo. (image from

Blockbuster Logo. (image from

Netflix, Redbox, and video on-demand services became more cost efficient and cut the revenue of the high cost Blockbuster at the knees. Blockbuster’s ignorance to the developing rental system and refusal to move away from a their prehistoric business plan is what crippled the once mighty chain.

Works Cited

Goldsmith, Jill. “Blockbusted!” Oct. 9, 2005 2005.Web. <>.


The L’Oreal Group- Acting Ethically

Logo of L'Oreal.  (image from

Logo of L’Oreal. (image from

The L’Oreal Group, a leader in cosmetics, has recently been recognized for a fifth time as a World’s Most Ethical Company by The Ethisphere Institute, an independent center of research indorsing elite practices in corporate ethics and governance. It is a prime example of a company that focuses on environmental, social, governance, corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability.

L’Oreal has adopted the ethical principles for long-term success laid out by Freeman in his Stake Holder theory. It has an Ethics Day where employees anywhere in the world can chat online with L’Oreal’s Chairman and CEO about ethics. Along with internal ethical practices, L’Oreal has also donated $1.2 million to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help improve the testing of safe chemicals, and recently signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles, an initiative of UN Women and the Global Compact.

L'Oreal's ethics program introduces concepts within the workplace. (image from

L’Oreal’s ethics program introduces concepts within the workplace. (image from

L’Oreal’s dedication towards business ethics has proven to be crucial to its longevity. It has been in operation for over 100 years, and was one of the first companies in France to install a Code of Business Ethics in 2000. It has produced sales amounting to 23 billion Euros (30.5 billion dollars) in 2013 and employs 77,500 people worldwide. The L’Oreal Group is a testament towards the benefits of focusing not merely on profits, but also on ethical business practices.


PR Newswire, “L’Oreal recognized As One Of The World’s Most Ethical Companies.” Reuters PR Newswire. Reuters, 20 March, 2014. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. <>.