Mattel, the world’s leading toy and children’s good manufacturer has cultivated a strong portfolio of well known brands and products while being recognized has a highly responsible corporate citizen that makes ethics and safety a priority. The company must build on its heritage, while defending itself from threats. At the same faced with maintaining its market position in the face of many changes in their target market.
Strong Products and Brands Global Presence High ethical standards High safety standards Highly influential market segment
MGA lawsuit Product Recalls High Dependence on Few Customers Declining Market Share Other litigation and legal issues
Online and Video Game Markets Changing Demographics Strategic Alliances
MGA and other competitors Changing customer preferences and lifestyle Kids Getting Older Younger Privacy/Use of Technology Governmental Regulations Economic Conditions
Strong Products and Brands
After nearly six decades, Mattel has cultivated many strong brands and products. Over time, Mattel has become the leader in the toy and family products industries with brands such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, The American Girls and many more. Through strategic acquisitions that have expanded their brand offerings, including previous competitors. Global Presence
Mattel has operations in approximately 40 countries and markets their products in over 150 countries. Mattel takes pride in instituting company policies that encompasses this global nature. High Ethical Standards
In 2009, Mattel was acknowledged among the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” and one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” (Thomas, Fraedrich and Ferrell 461). The company takes pride in implementing policies that set standards across the company regarding issues of working conditions without being disrespectful the cultural and other differences among its employees worldwide. High Safety Standards
As the manufacturer of products that ultimately are used for and by children, Mattel places a high value on the safety of its products. When product issues arise, the company spends extensive time and money to examine and correct the problems. Mattel holds its vendor to these high standards also and will discontinue using a vendor that is found to be in violation of them.
Highly Influential Market Segment
Recent study (Advertising Educational Foundation) shows that children wield a strong influence over parents purchasing decisions. Parents indicated that their kids had “some” to “a lot” of influence on household purchases. Many parents now adopt a “Kids come first” attitude to parenting, which combined with the high level of brand awareness that these children possess creates the perfect market for Mattel and its products.
Mattel has been involved with several lawsuits with rival MGA Entertainment maker of the popular Bratz dolls in what is being called the “one of the longest court fights in toy-industry history” (Townsend, Barbie vs. Bratz). Initially, Mattel sued the creator of the dolls, former onagain off-again employee Carter Bryant for breach of contract MGA then sued Mattel over Mattel’s copying distinct features such as the Bratz-style eyes. In response, Mattel expanded its lawsuit against Bryant to include MGA and its CEO, insisting that it had intellectual property rights to the Bratz dolls; because Bryant was employed by Mattel at the time the he created and pitched the dolls to MGA. Mattel settled with Bryant prior to that case going to court. Mattel won a favorable decision in the case, winning $100 million in damages. After the favorable outcome, Mattel was able to receive a court order barring MGA from producing certain Bratz toys. That order was later overturned pending the outcome of the trial’s appeal was determined. In 2011,...