Marketing Case Study for Barbie

1333 words 6 pages
Case Study I - Barbie 7 April 2011

This case study will examine five questions affecting the marketing of Barbie. It will consider the environmental factors affecting Barbie, a SWOT analysis, her position and the implications of it in the BCG Matrix, her target market, and my strategy if I was product manager of the Barbie line.

1. A number of environmental factors impact Barbie. Regarding the environmental factor of competition, Barbie has two major competitors -- dolls from Spin Master Ltd, “perhaps the hottest toy maker in North America” and dolls from Bratz (Zimmerman 1). The new models of these dolls both made it to the market before her last model did. Regarding the economic factor, the average income has gone down
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Because Barbie is already well-known, the company would not have to do as much advertising to introduce new models of her around the world as they or other companies would to introduce a brand-new doll. One of the threats to Barbie is her major competitor, Bratz dolls. Baseline magazine reported in 2005 that Barbie was losing market share because today’s girls want a “doll bolder and brasher.” According to them, “Worldwide sales of Bratz dolls reached $700 million last year -- growing more than 45% over the previous twelve months, while sales of Barbie have stagnated” (“Barbie”). Other competitors listed in the magazine include Janay and Friends, Girls on the Go, and Disney’s Princess line, all produced by different companies than Barbie’s.

3. I would classify Barbie as a Star in the BCG Matrix because the company is growing overall, with sales rising 9% in the fourth quarter of 2010, and Barbie sales in particular have also recently gone up, with sales up 8% in the fourth quarter of 2010 (Klayman). Overall, the toy industry also grew in 2010, up 2%, with Barbie one of the “top properties for the year based on total dollar sales” (U.S. Toy Industry...”). She has been gaining back market share again after losing it for several years to the Bratz and other brand dolls in her category of 11-inch dolls. Mattel beat its rivals Hasbro and LeapFrog in that quarter, and Mattel CEO Robert Eckert said they had “gained market share in virtually every one of the


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