Not long ago there was a big announcement that a Barbie Doll was created in the likeness of film director
Ava DuVernay. There was a great number of congratulatory social media posts as Ms. DuVernay is not just a female film director, but a woman of color.
But mixed in with the congratulatory posts on social media, were posts from people who complained that the doll was not made to scale. In particular, to the scale of the average black woman: wider hips, rounded backside, etc. I could not take it anymore. I finally contributed to the posts. I informed anyone who would listen, that Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie, like any brand worth their salt; would not be adjusting their brand for just anyone or anything.
Imagine Coca Cola or Pepsi adjusting their brand colors whenever they felt like it, or for every special event. They may add stars and stripes for Independence Day, but if they changed their brand swirly logo, who would they be? How would we recognize them? I am happy Mattel highlighted and shone the spotlight on Ms. DuVernay. I am sure she does not take it lightly that she has paved the path for many young girls to grow up and become movie producers and directors. But I am sure she knows the importance of branding.
Now after having said all of that, Mattel has made some changes! They have created Curvy Barbie! This is a great example of a company (Mattel) maintaining their brand (Barbie) while remaining relevant. Mattel gets it. And because they do, they will survive well into the 21st Century thank you very much! You had better believe they thought about this step. Thankfully they made the right decision. Thankfully they employ people whose ears are set to hear what the consumer wants. Amazing right?