Barbie's Failure In China Case Study

1547 Words 6 Pages
Barbie’s Failure in China and Lessons Learned

Introduction
Businesses tend to secure themselves financially and overlook certain characteristics, prior to expanding into international markets. For the purpose of this critical analysis case study, international markets will be assumed to be foreign countries other than the United States and the various individuals of consumers that inhibit them. Culture is a broad and fairly vague concept. We should define culture as the values, beliefs and practices that a group of individuals hold, it can be seen that culture is a major opponent businesses need to be conscious of when expanding into foreign markets. Mattel attempted to move into the Chinese market in 2009, by building a massive six story
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In China, hard work, collectivism and stability are an important factor, while in America, individualism, independence, and flexibility are of greater importance (Davvetas, Sichtmann, & Diamantopoulos, 2015). Furthermore, the Chinese consumers are not as concerned with individualism and independence as the American consumer. While there are common values and attitude in both cultures, they do vary in the order of significance, and each culture has specific values that exist in various factors (Kubat & Swaminathan, …show more content…
Mattel should have devoted more resources to understanding the Chinese culture prior to expanding. It is recommended the values and attitude of the brand need to be considered before deciding to heavily expand into a new market. Looking back on Mattel, it can be seen that if the brand had more time to grow within the Chinese market, it might have had a stronger influence on the consumers. Focus should have been on understanding and manufacturing a version of Barbie that was consistent with Chinese values and specific gender perceptions in a way the consumer desired. The considerations of using local retail stores, as opposed to opening a six-story branded retail store, may have impact a product’s ability to sell based on cultural preference. Mattel should have analyzed how the Chinese consumers spent disposable income, and investigated their selling price on products. Lastly, they should have considered sourcing the doll within China and selling within China. It can be gathered that had Mattel investigated all these Chinese cultural issues, prior to Barbie expanding into China, the resulting fiscal detriment may have been reduced and the product may have had a more successful expansion. Either way, companies that do not research new target markets prior to expansion will pay the hefty price of

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