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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Excerpts Contd...

Overhauling The Image

In March 1999, Adrienne Fontanella took over as Mattel's girls' division president and announced a total overhaul of Barbie's image.

To improve Barbie's sales, Mattel adopted two strategies. The first strategy involved introducing more brand extensions for Barbie and segmenting the market according to age.

The second strategy involved targeting older girls by stretching the Barbie doll to other products such as perfumes cosmetics and music.

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

Analysts were skeptical of this approach as Barbie would face stiff competition from established brands in cosmetics, music, fashion and electronic games. Mattel also announced that to increase profits from Barbie it would create two distinct personalities of Barbie, one career oriented and the other, cyber Barbie that would specialize in the traditional gender role game...

Barbie's Competitor

Barbie not only had to deal with changing trends in children's tastes, it also had to deal with stiff competition from the Disney Princess launched in 2001. Disney launched characters like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty as dolls. The 12 inch plastic doll came with accessories similar to Barbie, such as pyjamas, wrapping paper, magazines and videos...


Exhibit I: History of Mattel Co
Exhibit II: About Lilli Doll
Exhibit III: Happy Holiday Series - Barbie
Exhibit IV: Barbie Doll Over The Years
Exhibit V: The Barbie Classical Ballet Series

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