7 ways for Hasbro to sell more Star Wars toys (hint: girls)

My daughter giving her Hasbro Leia doll (courtesy Emily) a blow-dry

Hasbro, the primary Star Wars toys licensee, has a brand developer vacancy for their Star Wars line.

Like Disney, they still see Star Wars as a boys brand – but using Hasbro’s job ad as a guide, here are 7 ways the new Brand Manager can impress their new employer by improving sales, decreasing costs, and ultimately raising profits – as well as addressing the gendered marketing issue.

In fact, it’s the solution:

‘The primary Duties & Responsibilities of the Star Wars Brand Development role:’

1. Finding innovative ways to grow higher margin businesses.
A: An innovative way to grow higher margin businesses would focus on marketing Star Wars to girls as well as boys. This will increase sales with minimal additional costs.

2. Drive product innovations to better meet consumer demands.
A: Innovate by creating Star Wars products with girls in mind, meeting their additional consumer demand. Also market the entire brand to both girls and boys – girls will also buy existing products that are currently (but erroneously) deemed as ‘boys’ toys, and boys will purchase many products you might think of as being for ‘girls’.

3. Develop overall go-to-market product strategy.
A: The strategy needs to focus on the fact that Star Wars is a brand that appeals to both boys and girls, as well as their Star Wars fan parents. Create product for, and market the brand to, all of them.

4. Find ways to decrease development costs and gain efficiencies.
Decrease development costs by marketing current products to girls as well as boys. Efficiencies would be gained by selling an already existing product to a new market with minimal additional cost.

5. Keep up to date on modern manufacturing trends, technologies and competitive practices.
A: Be competitive – and modern – by marketing Star Wars to girls as well as boys.

6. Work with global brand strategy & marketing team to develop special and exclusive products.
A: The global brand strategy for the development of all special and exclusive products must include marketing the Star Wars brand to girls as well as boys, to increase sales.

7. Become the global insights expert and leverage learning across product lines.
A: An insight that Hasbro must learn: The Star Wars brand is in an almost unique position as (despite Hasbro’s insistence that it’s a ‘boys’ brand) it actually appeals to girls too. Additional product made with girls in mind can certainly be produced, but the overall brand is unisex. In addition, today’s parents would have grown up with Star Wars, back when it had overt cross gender appeal, so parents of boys and/or girls will be be primed to purchase product for the daughters as well as their sons. Hasbro should be including, rather than excluding girls from the Star wars brand, as it will lead to increased sales for the entire line. 

OK, it’s not really 7 ways – they all have basically the same answer: Girls.

‘I am the way’

But you have to admit, the plan has a singular clarity to it.

The successful applicant can now arrive as saviour, with a bold game changing strategy that benefits all.

Or to put it another way, the Chosen One can finally fulfil the prophecy of bringing (gender) balance to the Force.

I posted an earlier version of this piece here.

4 thoughts on “7 ways for Hasbro to sell more Star Wars toys (hint: girls)”

  1. It’s funny because one of the barriers is the advertising company, but the other barrier is the consumer itself; our generation grew up with Star Wars and knows that it has appeal for both genders of children, but some parents in our generation just DON’T try to get their daughters interested in Star Wars. Consumers are weird like that. We constantly say “make stuff unisex!” Then we happily buy our boys trucks and action figures and buy our girls kitchenettes and dolls.

    1. Well, my daughter has a play kitchen, dolls, trucks, and action figures!

      In terms of brands, I guess it’s a bit of a chicken and egg debate, but to me it all starts with the marketing – if it’s treated as a boys brand, not only will children pick that up, so will parents if they’re not too fussed. Parents can say they’re responding to the desire of their kids, without questioning where that desire has originally come from. It’s a wider issue. The 5 yr old daughter of a friend recently told her parents she didn’t want a science kit, because science kits are for boys.

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