Barbie’s new girls

’twas back in August 2005 that I posted "Competition: Watching the Perimeter".  I was inspired by an article in Baseline Magazine "Barbie Lost Her Groove, Competitors Picked It Up".

Seems Mattel is keen to bounce back in a big way: online.  Additions to their Barbie ‘fleet’ include plastic "Barbie Girls," an MP3 player that can be accessorized like a doll.  The ‘girl’ has an online component; social networking and shopping in a virtual world on the web. From the post:

The overall audience for Barbie sites has declined slightly over the last year, and has failed to grow over the last three years. According to Nielsen NetRatings, the Barbie site attracted about 1.9 million unique visitors from home and work in April 2007, down from 2.1 million in April 2006. Those numbers are in line with about 2 million visitors in the same month in 2004.

Meanwhile, online competitor Webkinz (virtual plushies) has increased market share significantly, usurping Barbie and and Neopets (all targeting roughly the same age demographic).

CNET: "Barbie’s Last Online Stand"

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About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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