How Does Mattel Win Over Gen Alpha?

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Last Updated on December 26, 2019 by Danielle

Fortune Brainstorm Tech

Mattel outlines a plan to win over Generation Alpha – but Mattel believes that shouldn’t including forcing tech into toys.

Faced with numerous challenges and declining sales from $6.5 to $5.5 billion in the last three years, how does Mattel win over Gen Alpha? That’s a very good question and one that toy maker Mattel has to realistically deal with. It’s both a challenge and an opportunity for embattled global toy maker Mattel.

Mattel has a plan to win over Generation Alpha and its CEO, Margo Georgiadis, a former Google executive, announced that forcing tech into toys shouldn’t be the answer. She announced her plan at the Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen.

According to Georgiadis, Gen Alpha is a different type of consumer – keep in mind they were born into a culture obsessed with iPads and Instagram. They play with Hot Wheels and Barbie, but they are not the same as generations before them because of the culture and environment they’ve grown up in.

Because of this iPad obsession, many have referred to them as ‘Generation Glass’. These kids expect immersion, adaptability, and customization and they want to be in control of their toys. Georgiadis believes that simply forcing tech into toys is not how they can win over this generation.

Georgiadis stated that the ultimate solution should incorporate something that is visually immersive, on-demand, adaptive, in-demand. All of this needs to be elegantly woven into future toy experiences. That’s easier said than done. At the heart of the matter lies whether at the most fundamental level – is the toy fun to play with? You can have all of this fancy tech in a toy, but if it is not fun then it doesn’t matter to this generation or any generation for that matter. The whole reason we play is to have fun and if it is missing that core element, the toy makers are missing the point and honestly wasting their time. Of course, toys also help in our child’s growth and development by teaching them various skills. Also, the toy should engage children and stimulate their minds, creativity, and imagination.

Rather than blindly infusing technology into a toy as an after-thought, much deeper thought has to go into the design from inception. Technology should be only introduced if it enhances the toy and makes it more fun and it should be seamlessly integrated, adding to the overall experience – it should never be forced into the design. Otherwise, what ends up happening is that the toy quickly loses its appeal and ends up collecting dust in a corner. Furthermore, Mattel feels it is its responsibility to ensure their products empower children, make them feel inclusive, and help them embrace the diversity of our society.

Even though Mattel is faced with a myriad of challenges and declining sales, they are optimistic about their future plans and their ability to win over Generation Alpha. We eagerly await the Mattel’s toy designs of tomorrow!

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