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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Barbie - The Icon of Amercian Culture Contd...

Though Barbie faced of lot of criticism for allegedly sending wrong messages to young girls, it was the world's largest selling toy and one of the most successful products of Mattel Co., its manufacturer. The biggest challenge for Barbie in the 2000s was to retain the interest of young girls.

In the 2000s, with young girls getting access to various forms of entertainment such as video games and computers, the number of young girls playing with dolls was decreasing.

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

In addition, Barbie faced stiff competition from 'Disney Princess,' launched by Disney in 2001. Analysts felt that Disney's distribution strength and its brand name would make Disney Princess an instant hit with children. However, some analysts opined that it would not be easy to dethrone Barbie from the position of the world's favorite doll.

Making of Barbie

The history of Barbie dates back to early 1950s, when Ruth Handler (Ruth), one of the founders of Mattel Co., (Refer Exhibit I) asked Mattel's designers to design an adult looking doll for children.

Ruth got the idea of manufacturing an adult looking doll when she saw her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls, imagining they were adults and imitating adult conversation.

Ruth realized that a three-dimensional doll would be an instant hit if they could produce it...

Excerpts >>


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