With this article we will highlight how Mattel and its well-known icon, Barbie tried to get a foothold in the Chinese market since 1998 by using a well known company: Avon. This situation is called a piggy - back, this illustrate how company A, here Mattel, wants to sell its products trough the distribution channels of another, company B, here Avon. So to define it, a piggy-back is a horizontal co-operation; in our case Mattel uses the distribution channel of Avon to sell its Barbie dolls. We might ask now, why does Mattel, a big international group, need to co-operate with Avon? We will try to figure it out through this marketing plan. We already know that this association can be profitable.
Considering this case, a relation between Avon and Mattel will be reductive. In fact we must also take into consideration the place as well as the life of the market. China is a special atypical market and a new emerging market. The way to penetrate into the Chinese's market is totally different from that of the USA or European Union. Cultural aspects and especially government wishes and obligations have to be taken into consideration. When an industry gets that big even corporate bureaucrats begin to notice it. Major multinational corporations are taking account of the networking phenomenon, building it into their own plans for distributing products and services.
[...] China accounted for only of Avon's sales in 1998, but with the huge potential of Chinese market, Avon is willing to accept the challenge of entering this market Strategic Focus and Plan This section covers three aspects of corporate strategy that influence Avon's marketing plan: the Avon Mission, Avon's Values and their Principles. Avon Mission The mission of Avon is to market cosmetics, fragrances, toiletries and to be the company that best understands and satisfies women needs in terms of products and services. [...]
[...] In fact the core products of Mattel and Avon are dolls and cosmetics / fragrances respectively and it is difficult to see Chinese girls play with Barbie dolls and women with cosmetics Company description Avon was founded in 1886 and incorporated as California Perfume Products in 1916. The core marketing strategy of the company was its “Avon ladies”: an army of salespersons today constituted of millions of part-time and full time door-to-door working women. The idea is simple; every woman develops client lists of friends and neighbors to whom they sell Avon products. [...]
[...] It all concluded in a clash with the Chinese government and Avon was obliged to adjust its marketing strategies. Avon had successfully negotiated with the Chinese government to restart its business and agreed to operate as a wholesaler, selling its products to retail stores and converting its 75 branch centers into retail outlets. So it might be interesting if the Barbie is distributed in big cities, to improve the product and the promotion, and to build a strong consumers basis before it is to be distributed in the rest of the country Conclusion The Barbie has to be introduced to China. [...]
[...] Marketing and Product Objectives If Avon strengths have already been explained, there are real opportunities to get ahead. The potential markets of rising countries constitute the future of Avon. Those countries are expanding quickly and are the new challenge. To materialize this reality, the following table of Annual sales of China cosmetic industry will give an idea of the rising potential market. In about ten years. Annual Sales of China Cosmetic Industry (1990-2001) We can easily notice that sales rose about 1000% in 11years that's very favorable for the future. [...]
[...] So Avon and Mattel must focus on the coastal areas Marketing program Product strategy The product is the well-known Mattel Barbie is a blond, tall and thin doll. The Chinese Barbie mustn't look like a Chinese girl; it has to be the same as in the occidental. In fact Chinese people wants to consume the same doll that the occidental customers because it is exotic for them. And especially for American products, they are liked in China for what they are: American products! [...]
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