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Mattel Inc. Segmentation Essay


This paper is about the company Mattel and segmentation. It discusses the segmentation that the company can do for marketing their products. It will discuss demographic, psychographic, geographic and behavioral characteristics segmentations. The paper examine opportunities for a segmentation and what each segmentation means for the company.

Mattel Inc. Segmentation

Mattel is a global toy company that has been around since 1949. They are the company that introduced Barbie and Hot Wheels to the world as well as many others toys. Mattel has license agreements with Walt Disney and Nickelodeon. In addition, has merged with other great companies such as Fisher-Price and Tyco toys. Mattel has established themselves as a top toy company offering toys for all gender, ages and cultures. They embrace being able to service a diverse cultural of customers. “Mattel’s vision is “creating the future of play.” Mattel’s objectives are to grow its share in the marketplace, continue to improve its operating margins, and create long-term stockholder value. “Mattel has brand and products for girls and boys.

The brands and products for the girls are Barbie fashion dolls and accessories, Polly Pocket, Little Mommy, Disney Classics and Monster High. The boys have products such as Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Tyco R/C vehicles and play sets and CARS, Radica, Toy Story, Max Steel WWE wrestling and Batman. The second category is the Fisher Price Brand. This brand includes Little People, Baby Gear, Imaginext, Dora the Explorer, Go Diego GO, Thomas & Friends, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Disney Jake and Never Land Pirates, See’ N Say and Power Wheels. The last brand for the girls is the American Girl Brand products that are sold from it catalogs, website and retail stores.” (“Mattel, Inc.,” 2013). Each brand has their segments to target to.


Demographic segmentation for Mattel consists of gender, age, nationality and family size. Their genders are split into two segments boys and girls. Mattel carries and advertises to both genders equally carrying quality toys to entertain them. The ages are broken into many segments. First, there is the infants and toddlers ages ranging from 0 -3years, next are Pre-school ages ranging from 4-5 years, and the next are older kids with ages ranging from 6-7 and 8 and up. Mattel has certain toys for each age group. Fisher Price was given the main control over the infant and toddler ages. To market to the infants to toddlers, the advertisement should be fun and about learning. It should also be geared to the parents. Parents are going to purchase more toys that are going to help with the development of their children.

“Mattel core products are designed primarily for children. In their Barbie product, Mattel’s flagship and number one seller that every girl wants to have. American Girl Collection is wildly popular with girls from 7-12 years old while Hot Wheels have more than 15 million boys 5-15 of ages are avid collectors, each owning an average of 41 cars. Two Hot Wheels car are sold every second every day.” (Tacbobo, E. S., 2012). The next segmentation is nationality. Mattel is a global company, so they have to market to different nationalities and cultures. There are many nationalities for this segmentation: white, blacks and African Americans, Asian and Latina. Mattel has had to work at this. Barbie and all her friends were initially white. After many complaints from the black community Mattel introduced Christie, Barbie’s black friend to the franchise in 1968.

Presently with the Latin population growing in the United States. The Latin culture is a segmentation that Mattel can now focus on more in to gain more sells. In addition, adults who are parents are another segment. Another segment because it is the parents who purchase the toys for their children. If they do not like a toy then, they are not going to buy it. “Mattel should not only focus on the kids but primarily with the parents because parents do the shopping and kids cannot buy things without the supervision of the parents.” (Tacbobo, E. S., 2012). Family size can be important because the more kids in the family, the more toys and games that will most likely be purchased. There is more chance of growth in markets when family size is bigger. When it is less than the parents will buy fewer toys. In addition, each child goes through a cycle, and they would soon get to the stage where they do not play with toys.


Psychographic looks at the psychological/personality traits, lifestyle or values of people in the demographic segmentation. It helps to breakdown the data from the demographics and break into even more detail about the segment to give you a better idea of how to market to that segment. It gives information on the targets behavior and attitudes by looking at their lifestyles and values. There are ways for Mattel to gather this information. Mattel can perform a survey, use web tools, analysis subscribers, and outsource to a marketing firm. Conducting a survey will be good for Mattel, but since the target market is mostly kids Mattel would have to survey the parents. The parents are the ones who buy the toys and are influencing the children’s behavior and values. The survey can help Mattel find out what the parents will purchase for their kids.

In addition, it will help Mattel find out if the family is active and likes to do outdoor activities. If they are religious and do not purchase many toys. It is information being obtained directly from the target market. The VALS survey is the most popular survey used to get this information. Mattel could also just look at information already collected about buying habits and the toys purchased that year and by whom. Mattel can look into what cultural or gender bought more of a certain product. Then with the data collected they can analyze it to make a profile of those segments. The data can be analyzed to show what African American girls between the ages of 7-8 are mostly likely to purchase. Once Mattel has a profile of all demographic segments it can come up with a marketing plan that will appeal to the children of the target markets as well as their parents. Mattel can do a better job if they know more whites families with children ages 2 to 3 and older who travel a lot.

They may purchase more video games and tablets for the children to use on the road. Mattel can then market products to the segmentations better. The information can also inform Mattel of the top segmentation to market to. Minorities are growing in the United States so Mattel can put more into marketing to that segmentation and get a psychographics profile to understand their attitudes, lifestyle and beliefs. Mattel has the option to outsource to marketing firms. It is an added cost, but the marketing firms will get all information that is needed for Mattel to market to their target markets.


Mattel is a global company. There are located in all over the world. In there, an annual report Mattel has split the geographical locations in two segments. There is North America Segment, which includes United States and Canada. The international segment which includes Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. The international market makes us about 44% of their revenues. Mattel produces and markets the same product to the North America segment and International markets.

Marketing to geographical areas is done by looking at other population, cities, and rural areas. Mattel is going to want to look at where the most- populated areas are. Then look for the best retail stores in those areas to place their products. In addition, they have to change some products to market in those locations. Toys that talk, each would have to have the language of the regions they are located. Latin America would want toys to talk in Hispanic language, United States in English, and Asia pacific the dialect known in those regions.

Behavioral Characteristics

This segmentation focuses on an occasion, usage, and customer loyalty. Mattel is an important segmentation because toys and games are not something people need. Occasion is very important. There are many special occasions that parents will buy toys for their children. The biggest reason is for the holidays such as Christmas. A lot of the new toys will be introduced in October and November for the holiday season. Mattel can advertise heavily during these months to promote selling of the new toys. In addition, there are other holidays that are similar to Christmas in other countries. There is a birthday every day and is an occasion that is celebrated with presents and especially toys for children. Children who perform well in school and have a good report card may receive a gift such as game or toy. Furthermore, Graduation is an occasion for a gift. Children graduate from preschool and kindergarten. Some children graduate from elementary and middle school. Loyal customers are the best to have and easy for Mattel to gain with their great line of toys. Barbie has many lines from a mermaid to a princess.

Mattel even had collector edition Barbie’s. Children mostly like to collect and play with the same toys. Little girls love playing with Barbie, and they do not just want one but a lot of them. In addition, they want the accessories to go with them such as Barbie dream car. The line of American Girl dolls come with real accessories to do their hair, a bike for them to ride, bathroom and bed. Hot wheels are another brand where most little boy do not just want one car but a whole lot. Furthermore, they want the tracks and other things that go with the cars. The toys help to create brand loyalty. The children with these toys will just want to add to what they have. Mattel can analyze the usage of the toys as well. Parents prefer to buy toys that can be used as a fun learning tool for their children.

Many laptops and tablets have come out into the market for little children to help them learn things such as colors, numbers, matching and learning to read. Mattel being a company that is global has a big target market. Segmentation is very important in making sure that each brand is marketing to their target market. Furthermore, it is important for them to know when to market to them more or less such as the Christmas season and end of the school year. Children go through stages in life, and Mattel has toys and games for each stage. As long as they keep producing toys that both children and parents love then they will create a lot of customer loyalty. Mattel is a company that is diverse and has created great products for their customers.

MATTEL, INC. (20113). Retrieved from
http://investor.shareholder.com/mattel/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1193125-13-76313&CIK=63276 Tacbobo, E. S. (2012). Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) for Mattel to\ Overcoming Marketing and Manufacturing Challenges. Retrieved from http://initaomarketinggroup.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-and-threats-swot-for-mattel-to-overcoming-marketing-and-manufacturing-challenges/

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