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Growth Champions: The Battle for Sustained Innovation Leadership by

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CHAPTER 14

LEGO and Apple

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Bringing magic to the everyday

In much of the consumer product mainstream, mediocrity is pervasive. It doesn't matter if it's TVs and kitchen equipment or bicycles and bathrooms, ‘average’ is everywhere. Differentiation, from a design and performance perspective at least, has become increasingly challenging. Pretty much everyone sources the same components from an increasingly globalized supply chain, and often they even use the same or very similar design agencies. As a result, over and above pricing and margins, few companies have any significant levers to position their product significantly ahead of their peers. For many consumers, choice has become anathema as products blur in the store or online.

However, within this global malaise, a few select companies are pushing the boundaries and bringing out products that delight and excite their users. Some, such as Bang & Olufsen, focus on high-end design and performance at a price, but others are more cost driven. One company in particular has brought world-leading design, intuitive interaction, unique business models, and far better than average performance to the consumer electronics sector. Equally while organizations such as Hasbro and Mattel have focused on filling our children's bedrooms with an increasing range of similar toys and games, another firm has consistently provided a product family that ...

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