Life in Plastic, It's Fantastic: Unpacking Barbie’s Corporate Evolution
Updated: Sep 26
If you're a Boomer like me or a Gen Xer you'll fondly recall the very beginning days of color TV, featuring Fred Flintstone yelling, 'Wilma!' and George Jetson complaining about his sprockets. Ah, nostalgia! However, while many icons from that era might simply collect dust on the shelf, our girl Barbie has done more than just survive.
Today, with over 1,000 different Barbie doll types and well over $1 billion in sales it's no wonder how she's skillfully tip-toed in her signature pink pumps from being a fashion faux pas to embodying feminist flair, diversity, and equality. And there's much your business can learn from her transformation.
It's Not Easy Being Barbie (Or Is It?) Barbie, in her heyday, was as controversial as pineapple on pizza. With an hourglass figure that defied all human anatomy, she was the apple of every eyeroll from mothers concerned about body image. Yet, she’s managed to not only survive but also reinvent herself into a modern-day representation of "every woman" flaws, cellulite and all.
So, businesses, listen up! If Barbie can go from "life in plastic" to "life fantastic," so can you. Nip, Tuck, and a Whole Lotta Strategy Barbie didn't just slap on a new shade of lipstick and call it a day. She went through a top-to-bottom transformation that was more comprehensive than a Marie Kondo-ing of your basement. Career Woman: Barbie donned lab coats, pilot uniforms, and even the U.S. President's suit. No more were her skills limited to "finding the best beachwear." Look at her now—she's piloting planes, performing surgeries, and working in underserved careers in traditionally male dominated fields.
Fashionista Line: Let's not forget Barbie got "woke". Well, sort of. She started embracing 35 different body types, skin tones, and hairstyles. Heck, she even diversified her shoe collection, and let's be honest, that's the real win here.
Physical Disabilities: Finally, Barbie is representing differently-abled folks too, and it's about time. Now Barbie can be as versatile as your Spotify playlist. Why This Matters, Darling! Be Socially Relevant or Be Square. Forget about just sales numbers; being socially relevant is the hottest accessory your brand can flaunt. Much like Barbie's latest limited-edition purse, it's a must-have for any business. Because when you reflect on the diverse society we live in, you're not just selling products—you're creating a brand that people can relate to on a personal level. Ready to Pivot? Heels First! If Barbie can trade her high heels for hiking boots to keep up with the times, you have zero excuses. Keep an eye on market trends and be as adaptable as Barbie's endless wardrobe. History Lessons and Why You Shouldn’t Skip Class. Hey, even Barbie had to go back to school and learn a thing or two about diversity and inclusion. The point? The world's always changing, and there's always room for improvement. Resting on Laurels Is So 1959. You might have had a killer quarter, but remember, even Barbie had to upgrade from just being a swimsuit model. Your past successes are like yesterday's mascara—great for then, but not something you should wear today. Afraid of Change? Come On, Be a Ken-Do Attitude! When even Ken got an upgrade (man-buns, anyone?), it's a sign! Embrace change, listen to the pulse of the market, and remember today's innovations are tomorrow's standards. And Now, The Pink Elephant in the Room: Barbie, The Movie. The recent box office hit managed to make 'pink' the new black. The film was a blockbuster not just because it was the sartorial equivalent of a cotton candy explosion, but with over $1.4 billion in global sales (to date) Barbie has successfully struck the right chord with multi-generational audiences. In a Nutshell... Or, Let’s Say, A Pink Convertible So, dear entrepreneurs, whether you're a small startup or a conglomerate, you can all learn a thing or two from the doll that once summed up the '60s but now champions the 21st century. The world has changed, and so should you. Go ahead, be the Barbie in the world of business—diverse, inclusive, and unapologetically fabulous. -------- Need more than a Barbie pep talk? Email me at email@example.com for a free, no-obligation consultation. We'll put you and your business back 'in the pink.' Glamorous business strategies, right this way, folks!