A hierarchy of iconic toys 53

Mattel APAC
A chance to work with the world’s largest toy company, what’s not to like?

The world's largest toy company

Mattel is a global learning, development and play company that inspires the next generation of kids to shape a brighter tomorrow; designing, manufacturing, marketing, and distributing a wide variety of toy products in 150 countries. Mattel also creates inspiring and innovative products in collaboration with leading entertainment and technology companies as well as other partners.

The company’s products include a number of core toy brand including iconic household names like: American Girl®, Barbie®, Fisher-Price®, Hot Wheels® and Thomas & Friends™ as well as toys based on various licensed characters from sources such as Disney, Warner Bros and Sesame Street; and games such as Scrabble and UNO.

Mattel’s toys are produced in company-owned manufacturing facilities in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and Thailand, as well as through independent contractors located in the United States, Europe, Mexico, the Far East, and Australia.

Creating the future of play

The global brand’s focus is to create systems of play, content and experiences that help kids unlock their full potential. The exposure of the brand has led to a diverse range of retail channels, from the important but fairly simple Mum and Pop stores to the more sophisticated offerings and special brand positions.

We were commissioned to undertake a Regional Audit across APAC to review the Mattel business within the region and their diverse range of retail channels. In addition to the diversity of the retail environment across the region, Mattel also needed to consider the diversity of unique culture and the challenges inherent in the vast geographical breadth of the APAC Region.

Kicking off with strategic discovery meetings at Mattel Head Office in EL Segundo, Los Angles and Fisher Price’s Head Office in New York, our team were charged with determining how to approach a retail transformation that would transition the Mattel brand and move it up the retail spectrum. From secondary to its portfolio, to a “Mattel-first, retail-second” experience.

Partnering with our partnered with our Asia Pacific team to help design a visual merchandising strategy that would be highly engaging across the APAC Region. The process from end to end involved intensive research which led to key recommendations on how our brands could better connect with consumers at retail. We gained a lot of insights from Terry Waterhouse's expertise and background with large global brands and merchandising solutions for Asian retail and consumers; I Thank Terry for the partnership we had and the value it has added to our strategies to win at retail.

Robin Choe | Project Head and Country Manager Korea, Mattel

Putting the core-brand first

Attending brand immersion presentations and workshops across all the major brands including Barbie and Hot Wheels. The task was to create a comprehensive in-store visual merchandising solution for Mattel core brand portfolio that delivered a consistent, cohesive and memorable look and feels at retail. Achieving the highest level of experience and product presentation appropriate for each channel of distribution in a way that would be financially sustainable.

Conducting a visual audit the team also carried out in country interviews and webcast follow up meetings throughout the APAC Region; developing ways Mattel could increase brand equity in markets where the brand or brands were less known.

The result was a new paradigm that capitalises on the breadth of Mattel’s brand and lifetime value proposition. Creating a retail merchandising system that spans across 13 different retail channels that developed a Mattel brand retail partner hierarchy. This included customer engagement strategy, country merchandising solutions, stand-alone stores in India and the manufacture and install of merchandising systems for the Mattel annual toy fair in Hong Kong.

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