Barbie Case Study

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Barbie has been a household name for decades and many kids around the world love and adore her greatly. Through the years Barbie has been at the top without any challengers to bring her down. Executives and shareholder love the way in which Barbie conquers all of the competition. Since its inception in 1945, Mattel has been collecting market intelligence in some form (Nash & Duvall, 2005). As a man, I even understood the importance of Barbie to little girls growing up. Around Christmas, Barbie had all the commercials appealing to the little girls and tweens. Like any superpower, including countries and toys, there is sure to be challenges out there with someone looking to dethrone the best. Mattel somehow felt that there was no way anyone could dethrone Barbie, or steal much of her profits. They were quite wrong in their thinking and paid for it with their bottom line. Although Mattel has focus groups and professionals who sampled the pool of kids to define what they like, they failed miserably in seeing that things were changing significantly. When companies are caught on their heels, it takes a while to react and that can cost millions. In this case, a sluggish reaction by Mattel executives cost them in excess of 20 million, over a short period of time. Girls who wanted attitude and ethnicity, not pert and pale, bought $20 million worth of Bratz dolls in the first six months they were out, and the doll line went on to win the People's Choice Toy of the Year award from
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