Barbie's Success Story

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG057
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1950-2003
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Mattel Co
Industry : Toys
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Building Up An Image

Made of molded polystyrene and plastic (for hair), Barbie doll was 11 inches tall with a 4-inch bust, 3-inch waist and 3 inch hips.

On a human scale it measured 39-21-33, which was an improbable figure for women. Barbie faced stiff opposition from mothers who thought that the doll's make up and appearance would have a negative impact on children.

However, it caught the imagination of young girls with its black eyeliner, pearl earrings, a zebra stripped bathing suit and heels.

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

Barbie had its own wardrobe, consisting of a casual outfit for outings, a bridal gown and a tennis dress. Young girls liked Barbie instantly, thus triggering sales...

Barbie's Changing Image

One of the main reasons for Barbie's success was its adaptability to changing trends. It was reported that Barbie had more than 80 careers within a period of 40 years.

The doll had played the role of college graduate, doctor, teacher, astronaut, Presidential candidate, surgeon and business executive, among others. In the 1970s, Americans experienced turbulent times, both socially and politically. The women's liberation movement and the sexual revolution overthrew the values and traditions of the 1950s...

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