Case 2 Barbie: The American Girl Does Global International marketing is the performance of a company's product and services to consumers in more than one nation to produce profit. It is one of the most vital elements of marketing functions to trade their company's products or services internationally rather than locally. This brings more advantages and benefits the organization itself as well as the country. The case examines the evolution of the Barbie doll over the years from its launch in 1959.
It explores the product development strategies adopted by Mattel for Barbie and it examines the different marketing strategies and the reasons for the success of Barbie. The case also explores changes in Barbie's image along with the changes in worldwide. The most important thing about marketing strategy of Mattel is adaptation of different environments. When it entered the US market with Barbie, the environment was very clear. I mean the expectations of customers were known more easily.
And also Mattel had a high adaptation skill to changes and cultural trends. For example black Barbie was one example of it. When it entered the European market and it could be seen directly that, US children and European ones had quietly same expectations, attitudes to like Barbies. But the situation was a bit more complex in other countries. Because cultural and social differences were clearly affect to buyer behavior.
For example for Iran or Brazilian or Japan market, Mattel could have to make something change in Barbie and it did.And I like the Sisi’s philosophy from the case that, “young girls want dolls that show them as they are, not as they want to be” But I don’t agree because mostly young girls are quickly adopt the changes and also they want to look like that they don’t so it affects that their behavior of likeness. On the other hand while entering the Japanese market, Mattel faces great difficulties overcome the world's second largest toy market, Japan.In terms of economic environment, Japan has high, favorable and competitive economic situation.
Japan is a high income country, the second largest economy in the world and has large industrial capacity. And thus, Japan and the United States face strong and big challenges to compete each other because they have similar economic situation. Therefore, during its first 20 years of operated in Japan, Mattel realised that it is the most difficult situation a company faced because of their complex distribution system.Additionally, Mattel attempt to face strong competition from local brand and local competitor.
For example, Mattel enters into marketing without studying the Japanese requirements for foreign investor to sell out their products. And thus, selling out Barbie in Japan has only a limit success. Moreover, a cultural fact appears that the Japanese has valued their dolls seriously because of their strong cultural tradition with a heritage of over 800 years and ceremonial importance.Consequently, Mattel started to cope with the Japanese culture in a view of the fact stated but they then discovered that the Japanese girls has preferred the local American Barbie is the best and the most well known. Mattel then dropped forces with Bandai and operates its own marketing office then introduced the American Barbie to Japan and they experienced a success with Long Hair Star Barbie as one of the top-selling dolls in Japan.
These cultural factors helps increase the amount of Mattel global marketing.As a conclusion, for children’s toy preferences, some of them like to see themselves on their toys/ babies, some of them want to see the beauty (long hair- blue eyes etc). It changes from one culture to the other. These differences are clearly explained in the article. We learn the happened in the Mattel’s history. If we think that, what will happen.
I think Barbie series are the stars of toys. Generally everyone wants to have them. Because it has a really huge brand power - Barbie. So the cultural differences are important but Mattel can use its adaptation skil. So easily adaptation will be achived.