Barbie is going through another rough patch. First, there was the heartbreak of not having a kid because Ken came in another box. And now the racy Bratz dolls (and of course Hannah Montana) are grabbing attention of girls eight years old and up. Mattel is answering by planning some major changes for the 50 year old perpetual teenager.
Implications - The best way to rejuvenate the relevance and demand for a product as iconic and old as Barbie is to constantly be on the lookout for ways to reinvent it, and this particular trend is a perfect example of that in action. Improving, changing and modifying your product regularly is the only way to keep a niche consumer need relevant and necessary and companies which recognize this are those that continue to succeed.