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Hot Wheels At Mattel Reinventing The Wheel Case Solution
Hot Wheels has been a successful brand over the year due to various reasons. The first and foremost being the product itself which was innovative in its own nature and transformed the way die-cast cars were used before i.e. as a collector’s item. Further, the product had undergone very few changes in terms of its design over the years thereby providing generations a reason to connect with the brand. The second reason attributable to the brand’s success is that it incorporated the functional and emotional aspects into its image. The functional image was reflected through the product’s speed, power, and performance elements whereas the emotional aspect was brought through a new positioning that incorporated ideas such as competition, creativity, and experimentation. Further, this aimed to promote a growth mindset in kids through trying, failing, repeating, and learning through play. The third reason has been the consistent price point that Hot Wheels offered which was $1.00 thereby not only making it the retailer's favorite but also an impulse purchase item as well as from consumers perspective it provided good value for money.
Following questions are answered in this case study solution
What has made Hot Wheels such a successful brand?
What are the implications of the changing childhood play patterns and their shift to digital experiences for the future of Hot Wheels?
How do you envision a Hot Wheels mixed-play experience? Should it lean more into the physical or the digital world? What segment of children would you recommend Hot Wheels should target with a mixed-play experience?
What innovations can Hot Wheels explore in digital space? What would be the value proposition of a Hot Wheels’ pure digital experience?
As a retailer, would you be supportive of a digital transformation of the Hot Wheels?
Given Mattel innovation culture and financial situation, how much risk would you be willing to take?
If you were the Global Brand General Manager for Hot Wheels, which growth plan would you recommend to Mattel’s new CEO? Why?
Case Analysis for Hot Wheels At Mattel Reinventing The Wheel
2. What are the implications of the changing childhood play patterns and their shift to digital experiences for the future of Hot Wheels?
Play patterns among children have evolved overtime and shifted more towards the digital end as device penetration has increased overtime and also due to the fact that the new generation was exposed to screen-based devices at an earlier age. This has majorly impacted the children's play patterns and the crossover age at which the child switches from physical toys to digital games has been declining over time. This is specifically alarming for Mattel – Hot Wheels as their product is primarily physical in nature and if the new generation doesn’t connect with the physical toys then it is likely that the brand will fade away. The brand had tried in the past to enter into the digital space along with maintaining its physical presence but it had been a hit or a miss situation. It hadn’t been able to bring in massive innovations due to a strong focus on delivering profits each year as well as pressure from retailers to not increase the product’s price point. Apart from this, the licensing initiatives taken by Mattel had always capped the benefits to the negotiated royalty rate and hadn’t allowed the brand to build direct relationships with its users.
3. How do you envision a Hot Wheels mixed-play experience? Should it lean more into the physical or the digital world? What segment of children would you recommend Hot Wheels should target with a mixed-play experience?
Hot Wheels mixed-play experience should focus on bridging the gap between the physical and the digital world. The two worlds i.e. the physical and the digital should complement one another and be connected rather than just being an access point to the other world. Further, there should be just the right balance between the two worlds which means that the physical experience should be further enhanced with the digital experience and vice versa. The target market for this approach should be children aged above 6 since this is the point where they start leaning towards digital experiences and if Mattel through its flagship brand Hot Wheels is able to attract the attention of children by offering them a mixed play experience, it will be able to lock in these customers for long term. Furthermore, it can then also be able to target those teens and adults who had moved purely to digital and begin to build relationships with them that it had once lost due to changing preferences towards the digital medium.
4. What innovations can Hot Wheels explore in digital space? What would be the value proposition of a Hot Wheels’ pure digital experience?
Hot Wheels can explore arenas such as introducing in-app purchases, using points scored to purchase physical toys, as well as the brand, can venture into introducing augmented reality-based features. This will further allow the target audience to stay connected with the physical toys due to which the brand had initially built its connection with its users. Further, the value proposition of a Hot Wheel’s pure digital experience would be focused upon challenging its target audience to meet certain goals and progress level by level. Also, along with every new level unlocked, they would have novelty in terms of what it has to offer and which skills are required to accomplish that specific stage. The all-digital experience can also provide its users the platform to be creative and customize their experience. Apart from that, the digital experience will also make it easier for the users to share their accomplishments with their friends and even spend time together playing with them even in the digital world.
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