July 30, 2012 at 11:46 am by Ted Mininni
It seems that toymaker Mattel has found the Eternal Fountain of Youth and imbued it in their #1 brand – Barbie. I love what Mattel is doing and I think they’ve offered classic consumer product brands, regardless of category, a blueprint to work from to keep their brands forever young and relevant.
During this past May, Mattel held its first Global Licensing Summit in Miami for its 700 licensees. The company’s goal is to up the ante on Barbie’s potential: to push for more significant, rather than incremental growth for the brand globally. What better way than to share insights with licensees while showcasing Barbie branded consumer products from around the globe? What better idea than to encourage all licensees to work together and share ideas?
At the core of this is a doll; a fashionista who has managed to be relevant to several generations of young girls. Barbie’s always been on top of new fashion trends. Her look, her clothes, her accessories have always had street cred. Recently young girls have been invited to design their own Barbie fashions with the intro of barbiewow.com and then share them with their friends. Barbie’s Dream Closet opens up to reveal Barbie’s fashions for work, play and formal occasions. A click with a webcam and girls can see how the outfits they choose look on Barbie. These days, Barbie has outfits for work as an aerobics instructor and for play as a snowboarder, for example. Relevance.
Interactive play extends girls’ interaction with Barbie beyond the doll. That too, is relevant. Mattel encourages girls to look like their favorite fashion icon. With back to school shopping around the corner, Mattel’s latest Barbie collection: clothing and accessories, are about to roll out in 10,000 retail locations around the world. And don’t young girls love to look like Barbie? New retail partnerships with Wal-Mart and Kmart in the U.S., Uniqlo and Zara in the UK as well as Benetton will help spread Barbie’s fashion to eager young fans. What’s important here is that a major 360 degree marketing program will support the brand in retail environments with a merchandising plan, online and in social media as well as promotional events.
Young girls, aged 2-5 are being targeted as well. After all, girls start playing with Barbie at a young age and they aspire to dress as fashionably as she does. Mattel wisely researched the most popular styles in every country to deliver the silhouettes moms and kids are looking for. As to how they chose licensees to work with to accomplish this goal? Mattel tapped into retailers’ insights for that. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
What’s great about all of this besides the interactive play, fashion-forward Barbie-branded apparel and accessories for young girls and Mattel’s commitment to support retailers and its licensees with 360 degree marketing? I think it’s the interaction Mattel itself is pursuing with its licensing and retail partners to elicit the best ideas based on developing trends. And that, my friends, is how Barbie is staying young and vital at age 53. Hey, she doesn’t look like she’s a day over 25!
Categories:Licensing, Branding, Consumer Products, Marketing to Kids