Business Case Studies, Brands & Branding and Private Labels Case Study, Mattel, Barbie

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Brands & Branding and Private Labels Case Study

Case Title:

Revitalising Barbie

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: Mridu Verma

Industry: Toys


Case Code: BBP0078P

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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In 2006, 46 year old Barbie – the largest and the most popular doll in the world is struggling through a mid-life crisis. The Barbie brand accounts for almost one-third of Mattel’s $5.2 billion annual revenue. The Barbie doll has dominated the global toy market for more than 40 years. But in recent years, its status as queen of the toy cupboard is under threat. Mattel’s financial results highlighted her plight with the gross worldwide sales of Barbie falling by 13 % in the second quarter of 2006. Little girls no longer view her as cool and trendy. Mattel decided to reinvigorate the Barbie brand, focusing on core markets, aligning more effectively with growing retail customers by entering into closer partnerships with them, investing in developing markets, and growing alternative sales channels. Mattel has decided to concentrate on three aspects – product, brand building and distribution channel. It has extended Barbie to animation movies, launched interactive web sites, and developed new products to appeal to teens and pre-teens. The case discusses the challenges faced by Barbie; it traces the initiatives taken by Mattel over the years to extend Barbie’s product life cycle; and debates over Mattel’s current strategy for Barbie.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To examine the challenges faced by Barbie in maintaining its brand image
  • It discusses the initiatives taken by Mattel to extend Barbie an iconic brand’s product life cycle
  • To debate over Mattel’s current strategy for Barbie.

Keywords : Mattel, Barbie, product life cycle, brnad extension, bratz, fairytopia, core branding strategy, icinic brand, marketing strategy, re-invention, brand merchandise, retail strategy, competition, Brands & Branding Case Study, collector Barbie, mid-life crisis

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