Usually a 50 year old female doesn’t garner an exceptional amount of interest from business owners unless it’s for anti-wrinkle agents and possibly vitamins. But when the 50 year old is Barbie, all kinds of corporations and men are quite interested. Earlier this year Fiat created a pink car especially for her. But from the looks of it, Barbie is into other cars as well. Volkswagen put Heidi Klum, Lauren Conrad and the Kardashian sisters into their edition of a Barbie Beetle. And Barbie also had a Jeep and Corvette. Reports are that this is very confusing for the paparazzi who have a difficult time figuring out which car to follow.
As it turns out, even Barbie was having a tough time finding herself. And this was not a good thing for her self-esteem or bottom-line. No, not that – we’re talking about the Mattel Company’s bottom-line here. Over the last five decades, all sorts of folks had gotten into the fray of customizing Barbie’s image to fit their retailing strategy. Like cars, she had racked up six different logos and even her pink was no longer distinctive, there were seventeen shades. All this confusion led to flagging interest and sales for the Barbie brand.
Now the folks at Mattel are reclaiming Barbie, giving her a makeover of sorts. She has only one official shade of pink – Pantone’s 219. In making over Barbie, Mattel is aiming to take its brand back. Experts believe this a common problem with great brands. Over time the folks in charge lose focus and the brand loses its gloss. This can happen when a strong brand wanders into unfamiliar product territories, or fails to recognize new trends in their line of business or looks away from the customer. At Mattel, the new, old Barbie is now bringing in more bucks.
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