Barbie tracks trends

Kotler cites Mattel, US owner of the world’s leading doll, as an excellent example of a “marketing environment watcher”. Apparently the average American girl owns 8 Barbie’s in their lifetime. Mattel has positioned the brand benefit as “playing at being a grown up”.

Every girl’s favourite
Source: screenshot

To update their range, Mattel constantly comes out with new versions of the doll, according to Kotler reflecting the trends of the time directly. Thus changing definitions of achievement (in the US) are answered by launching a nurse, fashion model, astronaut and even presidential candidate. They have a Great Shape, Baywatch or even TROLL Barbie to reflect popular interests and when the States hosted the winter olympics: the olympic skater Barbie.

Olympic skater

Of course it’s easy for a product selling in consumer markets to use trends in society as inspiration for new product development, but not everyone is as successful at doing it as Mattel. And the principle is the same for any type of company, even in BtB. Changes in the marketing environment are not always a threat, they also create opportunity.

Alex Woodruff

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