Have a look at this video, made by the parents of a 10-year-old kid with Aspergers. James Groccia saved all his pennies for two years to buy his dream toy, an emerald green Lego train set. The story in the video tells of how when James had saved enough and went to buy his toy he found it was discontinued.

Not only that, but the only place he could get hold of one was on eBay, and because of the collectability of the toy, they had more than doubled in cost. He couldn’t afford it anymore.

Anyone with experience of kids with an ASD will appreciate what a huge achievement saving all that money was for this little boy, and how crushed he must have been when his dream was dashed.

Well, having written to Lego to tell them of his dilemma, they responded in what can only be described as an awesome manner! The video shows James opening a package from Lego containing his dream toy. A lovely marketing exec from the company had sent it to him.

It’s a small thing isn’t it? Sending a toy to a distraught 10-year-old.

But what a huge impact. That entire family much less James himself, are now Lego fans for life. And I don’t think it would be possible to measure the positive impact that Lego have made in the lives of everyone that watches this video, which has now gone ‘viral’ as the saying goes.

But here’s the thing. The parents of James obviously had the where with all to video the opening and the desire to share the story – basic components of a social media campaign. Lego have had nothing to do with it.

There isn’t a press release  or a Facebook campaign to accompany this story as the corporation ensures they maximise the opportunity. No Twitter hashtags have been ‘set up’, no pin boards commissioned.

Lego did a good thing, then the story spread – unrelated to the effort put in, and seemingly with no forethought, Lego have benefited a great deal. But it was born out of doing a good thing.

And I think that’s what being ‘social’ means.

There was a recent discussion on this blog about social media, and I found myself trying to make the following point. There is a difference between doing social, and being social.

Business can spend as much as they like on Facebook and Pinterest or LinkedIn or whatever, but if it is not in the businesses culture to be social, they wont be.

That begs the question: What is social? The blog I’ve linked to there has a fair stab at answering that question, and you should pop over to it for a read of the comments especially  There are some big names in Social Media in Wales contributing to that discussion, and its well worth taking a look at.

But ultimately, I think Lego have nailed it in this example. I think it’s about caring.

There’s a whole load of hot air talked about social media, and what is right and what is wrong. How it works, and how to do it so that it benefits you or your organisation.

But in my opinion, all it boils down to is this:

Caring about the customer. Caring about the product. Caring about the business itself and what it stands for, what it does.

The person that wrote the lovely letter to little James clearly has so much respect for him, for his love affair with Lego and the Lego business itself. They really care. They didn’t create anything or mobilise anything or tweet anything or what have you.

They just did the right thing for their business and for their customer.

what more to it is there than that?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xGU-5KVS_g&w=560&h=315]


I recently came across this that claims to be a letter exchange along the same lines. IF its genuine, its even more proof that lego are getting it right!

lego letter

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12 replies
  1. Eiry Rees Thomas
    Eiry Rees Thomas says:

    I relate to that article very much, Tony. Credibility and compassion are all-important. That’s what I base my dealings on as a provider of content for young readers.The teaching of and learning by example, in other words.

  2. --
    -- says:

    Good post and great video. It is funny because I am just getting ready to write a post about companies not caring about their customers and how that relates to them not being able to make the transition over to social media. Good post Tony.

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  3. […] present in almost all social media success stories. Whether its brand like lego sending a little kid an impossible to get toy, or a blogger like Mark for instance, agreeing to come to Wales to appear in a social media […]

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