Thursday, July 08, 2010

Do You Like the Brand or The Doll?

Posted by thedollcafe at Thursday, July 08, 2010
Barbie Superstar Doll

I found this interesting article today called "Case Study - Barbie."  The article describes how Mattel went about marketing the Barbie brand in China.  Since the Barbie doll is not a doll that most mother' have grown up with in China, Mattel is using the store as a shopping experience that will actually bring the consumer to a one stop boutique featuring products and services like a spa, a make-up counter and clothing.  The article relates that Mattel is using the store almost as an experiment to see what will help them sell more product, i.e. dolls.  I thought this was very interesting. I've always thought of Barbie as a doll, not a brand.  The more I thought about it, this is an impressive marketing scheme.  Actually, I would love to see more Barbie and Mattel branded product than the dolls and I would love to see it in a one stop shop store like Shanghai's store.  It would certainly help sell more product! According to the article, this may not be feasible in many markets. What do you think? 

7 comments:

squarepeg78 on July 10, 2010 at 2:45 PM said...

I have always considered Barbie a doll - not just "a" doll, but THE doll! Sadly, in recent years, she has become one of many. Other companies - Integrity, Spin Master, MGA, etc are giving collectors more choices, more innovation, more diversity, while Mattel continues in their fantasy world of believing the Barbie brand is infinite. Not since the turn of the 21st century and the release of the first Silkstone dolls, has Mattel given collectors a reason to get excited. Their new Monster High dolls may indeed prove popular, but they are not Barbie.....

D7ana on September 11, 2010 at 8:06 AM said...

I think of Barbie as both a Brand and [several] dolls. I buy individual dolls in the line and tolerate the Brand.

(You will never see me wearing Barbie tee shirts, etc. Not what interests me.)

Alison in CA on September 11, 2010 at 9:16 AM said...

What an interesting concept. I only recently discovered that Mattel also manufacturers American Girl dolls. (I had no idea! My niece is infatuated with them, though my daughters tend to lean toward Barbie).

I am a huge sucker for Barbie themed items--like purses, shoes and scarfs for me to wear. But really, I think it would much better for Mattel--and specifically Barbie's brand--to release a statement as to WHY they are in business, and their PURPOSE in making the doll.

To me, that would clear up a lot of issues--is she supposed to exists for little girls to emulate? Is she supposed to be for imaginative play? Is she art? Is she her body supposed to be exaggerated? How has Barbie's "mission" changed over the years? What does she want with her customers? What are her ethics? If it's just to dominate the market, that's dull.

She must have some ethics. I have seen forward and backward movement in racially charged issues -- from huge gaffes like Oreo Barbie to the Basic Black line. However, again I noticed, thanks to Dolls of Color's blog that there all 2010 Silkstone dolls were white this year. To me... it doesn't scream progress.

OK. Off my soapbox. ;) (LOVE your blog.!)

thedollcafe on September 11, 2010 at 4:32 PM said...

I think Mattel manufactures Barbies for play and they have a separate collector line that are considered for adult collectors. Often times the public perceives the collector dolls as toys and dolls that send a negative image to girls because they are not clear on the market segment for the dolls. You are right a clear statement by Mattel would help to clear that up. Mattel has tried to designate labels on their dolls for example the Black label dolls which are for adults. All that being said Mattel has a long way to go in embracing ethnicity within their doll lines. Ethnicity is usually left only to the Dolls of the World line. Sadly, I think that the most popular dolls are still blond dolls and that's why they are still the ones that are produced in greater numbers.

thedollcafe on September 11, 2010 at 4:34 PM said...

Good points Dana. I kind of feel the same way although I do like Barbie branded items but usually rather spend my dollars on a doll than a t-shirt or bag. Sometimes the bags are even more expensive! OMG!

D7ana on September 15, 2010 at 11:46 AM said...

Thanks, Dollpage. Actually, now that I wrote that I wouldn't wear Barbie-themed clothes, I can think of something that I would wear. That Ken tee-shirt with the line about everybody needs a Ken ;-D

But yes, I definitely prefer the money to go to the dolls. Dolls first, the rest maybe.

Sebastyne on October 4, 2010 at 9:29 PM said...

I am completely blind to any doll that doesn't have Barbie written on the box. No matter how cool they are, they're not Barbie and that's all what matters. I might not be 100% happy with every decision Mattel has ever made with Barbie, but... Well, when I was a kid, when you got a doll the first question was "is it a genuine Barbie?" If it wasn't, it was second class. I still feel the same, even though some of the "second class" dolls cost 5 times more than my most expensive Barbie. :D

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 

The Doll Cafe DOriginal by Ipietoon Blogger Template Designed by AdaB Design