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Barbie's Marketing Analysis

2233 words - 9 pages

Mattel/Barbie Marketing Analysis PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 10
Mattel/Barbie Marketing Analysis PaperHistory of Mattel / BarbieBarbie was launched in 1959 and became an instant hit. Today, sales of the dolls and merchandise total more than $1.5 billion U.S. annually, making Barbie the most successful branded toy in history. More than a billion dolls have been sold since 1959, with 2.5 dolls sold every second. Different versions of the doll have been introduced to reflect the world's diverse population. For example, Mattel has produced African-American Barbie dolls since 1968, the time of the civil rights movement, and has introduced Hispanic and Asian dolls as well. Themed dolls were introduced that changed with the times -- from stewardess, fashion model, nurse, and astronaut.TrendsThere have also been some approaches by other companies to promote Barbie look-alikes that are modeled to promote healthy body image. Ruby is a doll with a more realistic body size that is featured in ads and posters. She was created in order to promote positive body image and has been featured in numerous ads and posters. There are also Emme dolls which are also geared towards promoting self-esteem and healthy images of bodies. The Emme doll was modeled after a real-life plus-size model. When asked about the new dolls, Mattel only commented that "[their] legal department is looking into it from a trademark perspective" and showed no fear of the new competition (Jervis).Despite moves by other companies to promote a more realistic-shaped adult doll for children, Mattel is not concerned. Barbie's name, brand, and lifestyle have become so engrained in American public's minds and have caused clear distinctions in opinions over the doll. She has grown to include more than just a doll. There are Hallmark birthday cards, Christmas ornaments, Barbie clothing line, clubs, and magazines. Barbie was even made into a computer animated film.Brand Positioning StrategyThe product itself is very much suited for young girls and what they may aspire to be since the doll is presented as always being kind and fun and also doing different jobs, so every girl can relate to one Barbie doll or another. A doll needs to be of good quality, especially since children are not known for taking care of their toys and parents will most probably refuse to buy new ones if the toy does not last long. The brand name 'Barbie' also needs to be carefully chosen, the product will probably become internationally known and the company will not want it translating into a rude phrase or a complicated one in another language. The product itself may have to be changed when selling to customers in a foreign country of a different background or culture. For example when Barbie was launched in Japan it was not successful because the young girls in that country could not relate to the blonde haired, blue eyed new doll and so the product had to be changed.Pricing StrategyPricing involves setting pricing objectives for your...

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