Essay about Marketing Case Study for Barbie

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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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As the doll market expands internationally, too, Mattel has not always been successful at matching or selling Barbie to local cultures. Many people from other non-Western cultures want dolls that match their culture, and Barbie frequently does not fit them. I could not find any political factors that impact Barbie.

2. For this SWOT analysis of Barbie, I will identify at least one strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat. A significant strength of Barbie is the long history of the brand, which has been in the market for more than fifty years. Because of having that much time in the market, customers are already familiar with it. Children grow up with Barbie, so when they become adults, they will think of her when they think of dolls. Another strength is that the brand now has become more than the doll and include video games and books about her as a character. So that gives the company a broader market. For weakness, Barbie is part of and promotes a certain culture. So in cultures, either within or outside the United States, that hold different values (especially for women), she may not be as popular. For example, Barbie has been in the Saudi Arabian market for many years, but she is still not as popular as a doll that matches the local culture more, named Foulah, created by another company. For opportunities, Barbie is a worldwide brand. So there is an opportunity for the company to use that reputation to increase its market share.
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