Business Case Studies, Brands & Branding and Private Labels Case Study, Mattel Inc, Barbie

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Brands & Branding and Private Labels Case Study

Case Title:

Mattel Inc's Barbie: Brand Merchandising Strategies

Publication Year : 2005

Authors: Gayatri. D, T. Phani Madhav

Industry: Toys


Case Code: BBP0020

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Mattel Inc., which manufactures and markets the most popular American icon, the Barbie doll, was expanding the merchandise of brand Barbie to improve sales and to regain customer attention. The brand was affected in recent times by the changing needs of the 'tween' girl market. As the ‘tween’ girls segment switched over to other playtime alternatives like video games, the Internet and TV at an early age, Barbie sales dropped considerably. To keep the brand in tune with the changing needs of the market, the company began extending the brand into an array of new product lines like apparel, cosmetics, DVDs and movies.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the brand merchandising strategies of Mattel Inc. and how the Barbie brand was extended to related and unrelated products
  • To discuss whether the upstream transition of the brand Barbie into product lines like cell phones, videos and digital cameras is feasible
  • To discuss whether Barbie would be able to regain its fame through these brand extensions.

Keywords : Barbie, Mattel Inc., Tween girl market, Preteens, Age compression, Market segments, Brand merchandising, Brand extension, Millennial generation, Baby boomers, Demographics, Generation X, Generation Y, Line extensions


  • Barbie: more than a doll?
  • Barbie changing with time
  • Barbie pink in blue?
  • Barbie has a cell phone!
  • Mattel Inc. Timeline
  • Millennial Generation

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