What Can Finserv Brands Learn from Barbie?

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Barbie the movie made its debut last week on July 21, but Barbie herself has been around since 1959 and ranks among the world’s most enduring and beloved brands, with a global presence and a loyal fan base. That said, what can brand marketers in today’s financial sector possibly learn from this 64-year-old icon?

Plenty, as it turns out. Consider the following:

Adapt and innovate—and stay true to your values. Over the decades, Barbie has continually reinvented herself to stay current and relevant to her customers. She has explored more than 200 careers, taken up at least as many hobbies, and engaged with a dazzling range of cultures and social norms while never straying from her core identity. Financial brands likewise need to be refashioned to the evolving needs and lifestyles of their clients, while maintaining their credibility and trustworthiness. This requires constantly developing new products, services, and channels that meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and dynamic market.

Be inclusive and diverse. Barbie has championed diversity and inclusion by featuring dolls of different ethnicities, body types, abilities and backgrounds. She has also joined forces with a wide range of organizations to promote social justice and equity. In the same way, finserv brands can demonstrate their commitment to workforce diversity and inclusion and to the issues that matter to their customers and the communities where they do business.

Inspire. From the beginning, Barbie has been a symbol of aspiration and ambition for girls and women around the world—an early-day influencer inspiring them to pursue their dreams and passions and believe in themselves. Financial brands need to do the same for their customers, by helping them realize their financial goals and aspirations—not only through their products and services, but with guidance, education, and support.

Be a storyteller. Barbie’s brand has been built around storytelling and imaginative play, creating emotional connections with its audience. Financial services firms can benefit from incorporating compelling narratives that showcase their values and how they can improve customers’ lives.

Partner. Barbie has collaborated with various brands and industries to expand its reach and create unique products. Financial services firms can explore strategic partnerships to enhance their brand visibility and offer innovative solutions.

Barbie is more than just a toy. She is a brand that has remained relevant and appealing to generations of consumers on the strength of powerful strategies and contagious stories. At Carpenter Group, we believe brands like Barbie that outperform have these two elements in common.

For more than 40 years, Carpenter Group has helped financial services firms create and execute brand strategies to deliver powerful results. Let us show you how.