Barbie has become one of the best selling toy brands in the world helping Mattel become one of the largest toy makers. Mattel has had much success with it popular Barbie dolls for over fifty years. However it seems every product has a life cycle and in recent years Barbie has begun to decline in popularity due to recent technological trends and stiff competition. Today young girls have become more interested in mp3 players and ipods rather than playing with dolls. At home and abroad competitors are producing new doll with different characteristics that persuade consumers to purchase these products over Barbie. Competitors have begun stealing significant market share away from Mattel who depends on Barbie for 20 percent of its annual sales. Abroad Mattel faces major obstetrical as its Barbie products are more standardized, while it competition has created a more localized product that better suites the needs of foreign consumers.
The Middle East
Mattel has had some success in India by producing Barbie dolls adorned with a head spot and sari. Mattel still struggles to produce Barbie product that embraces ideology and appearances of the Middle East. The brand image of Barbie, her characteristics and portrayed lifestyle, go against the morals and demeanor of religious and political standards that girls are taught to embrace in the region.
Latin America was one of the first non-U.S. markets Barbie entered into. Barbie seemed to have success until its market share began to be overtaken by a competitor Estrela. Estrela is a Brazilian based company who created a much different looking doll called the Susi doll. The Susi doll looks much different than the Barbie, it has a small chest and waist, but wide thighs and dark skin, similar to Brazilian girls. The Susi doll seems to be more attractive than the Barbie doll because girls are able to identify and see themselves in the doll. In addition, the Susi doll is sold at a much lower price than Barbie. Due to the extreme popularity of Susi in Brazil, Estrela has now began selling the doll in Chile, Argentia, Paraguay, and Uruaguy.
· Sold in more than a 150 countries
· 60% of its annual revenue is in U.S. market
· Best brand in the world, Mattel is world’s largest toy maker. · Barbie has been around for more than 50 years
· Huge success in Europe
· Inability to localize product in foreign markets
· Negative portrayal of girls image
· Over priced in accordance with competition and economy in many foreign markets · Popularity is declining in home and abroad , inability to keep up with trends or consumer needs/wants Implications Jarin)
The Middle East
· Create doll that relates to customs and culture
· Steal market share from Fulla Brand
· Fulla Brand introduced in 2003 embraces customs, morals, and appearance · Sara, Dora, and Laila-local competitor’s dolls that are patterned after customs and characteristics of natives. · Barbie is “forbidden by Islam”
Objectives and Strategy
Product: Dolls should reflect color and characteristics of culture. Mattel needs to change story or personification of Barbie to reflect values or attributes that are in accordance with political and religious standards. Advertising: full color print ads displayed in shop windows. Direct Mail or newspaper inserts. Sales Promotion: Buy one doll and get some accessories for free. Consumer is able to choose Sari or different designs of head spots. Distribution: Dolls should be distributed in same locations as competition. Dolls should be located where children can easy access them and present to parents. Price Policy: Price of dolls should be simular to Fulla brand, or slightly higher. In...