Bratz vs. Barbie: The Power of Strategic Innovation

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In her book - The Power of the Purse: How Smart Businesses Are Adapting to the World's Most Important Consumers - Women, Fara Warner describes how the MGA's Bratz line of brash, but fashionable, dolls toppled Mattel's Barbie — by focusing on consumer behavior.

Says Warner:

- Don’t allow personal history or preconceived ideas of women — in this case, young girls — to overshadow insight from consumers.

- Read, listen, and respond to correspondence from consumers — not their parents. MGA used this strategy to create a line of boy Bratz.

- Consider the consumers’ whole world, not just the time when they are using the product. This strategy was used to expand Bratz beyond dolls and clothes.

- Move with consumer trends, not industry timelines. MGA creates new clothing lines for its dolls every three to six months, not just once a year.

Read this chapter — Toppling Barbie: Bratz Predict the Future — from her book.

The Bratz example serves as a powerful reminder that companies like Mattel cannot afford to rest on their laurels, but need to selectively forget the past, as Vijay Govindarajan would say.

Fara has also started a blog. Her introductory post is here.

Maybe there's a place for an environmental girl doll one of these days — perhaps a Jane Goodall do-good activist doll? I mean why do toy companies focus on girls, malls and fashion? All right, I know the answer... it was a rhetorical question.

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Product Naming: Barbie Beaten by the Bratz from Strategic Name Development Product Naming Blog on June 16, 2006 1:14 PM

I found a recent Time article that points out what parents of little girls everywhere have already discovered: Barbie is "dead", and long live the Bratz, the "Girls with a Passion for Fashion". At least one Standard and Poor analyst has suggested that ... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Christian Sarkar published on March 16, 2006 8:47 AM.

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