I was never one for playing with a Barbie doll as a child but I have to admire its enduring appeal to children and it’s just been announced that Barbie sales were up to £940 million last year.

That’s the highest sales for 5 years and is extraordinary for a toy that was created in 1959 – so Barbie is 62!

The success of Barbie is all in the child’s mind as they can create whatever game they like with her. She is a creative exercise and it’s not really a surprise that children want creative activity just as much as adults in lockdown. We know adults are doing jigsaws and watching box sets on the TV and children want the same escapism.

It just goes to show that when you find a winning formula you should stick to it, which is contrary to many businesses models nowadays that constantly strive for enhancements and change.

When you have a business this is a common dilemma as we never know if we should change and tweak or stick to our basic products. I think if you have a product that has stood the test of time and there is evidence of sales then I suggest you leave your product set alone. Only tweak when sales are falling or there is strong evidence of better sales with enhancements. And that’s the philosophy of the Barbie business model!

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Gill Fielding

Author Gill Fielding

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