Marketing Essay Example: Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior

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University of California, Santa Barbara
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Since the beginning ng of the 21st century and especially in the past decade, there have been numerous changes in the global cultural values. These transformations are especially evident among the new generation of consumers who are considered as to be more liberal about their product choices. Various companies have seized the opportunity to make more money and build a stronger brand by adjusting to these changes that have had a significant impact on their marketing strategies. Many of the organizations have made changes to their product designs or changed their marketing strategies with the aim of appealing to a broader market that is now guided by the different cultural values. Many organizations, especially in the fashion industry, have transformed most from the aesthetic changes experienced, they have been able to appeal to more customers through their marketing strategy adjustments.

According to Taylor (2013), target marketing has been a powerful tool for many years for various organization brands that aim to appeal to a specific gender. However, in recent years many organizations that focused on gender-targeted marketing have had to adjust their marketing strategies. These changes have mainly been made due to customer suggestions and backlash on major social media platforms where consumers champion against the marketing of products and services to one gender (Taylor, 2013). Many activist groups and consumers have prompted different organizations to adjust to the cultural changes and remove the outdated gender-based marketing. Moss (2016) suggest that today, products marketed exclusively by gender can put almost half of likely sales at risk. Moreover, the idea of gender contamination happens when a brand or product that is typically linked to one gender deter the other. Marketers have historically used gender contamination to benefit their brand by having products that have both a male and female-focused version (Moss, 2016). However, as the gender lines blur, the strategy is swiftly becoming outdated.

An excellent example of an organization that markets to the gender changes in cultural values is Mattel Inc which is an American multinational toy manufacturer. Mattels long-awaited Moschino Barbie sold out in a short period and later had a unique video that for the first time included a boy who was used to counter the gender typecasting of kids toys (Kiefaber, 2015). In the video advertisement, there was the use of the tagline Moschino Barbie is so fierce that was used in the Barbie doll campaign. According to Kiefaber (2015), Mattel also had an interview with BBC where it explained more about the Moschino Barbie to appeal to a broader television audience. This strategy was meant to create more awareness to the public through televised media. Moreover, various celebrities were used to push the brands product through social media which created significant buzz which translated to good sales. There are also many web-based marketing advertisements mostly including pictures of the gender unspecified dolls in neutral clothing that is considered to appeal to both male and female kids. The company website also allows for the online purchase of the Moschino Barbie dolls in a limited edition that appeals more due to the exclusivity that increases demand.

From the examples of the Mattel company Moschino Barbie dolls marketing points, there is an evident understanding of the changing cultural values mostly relating to gender-based marketing. The company uses this knowledge to create and implement its marketing strategy for its products using various means. It is important to note that the company understands that gender neutrality leads to profitability. Mattel made sure to include appealing male elements such as macho wear with chains and dark colors into the design of the Barbie doll which made the final product more gender neutral. Moreover, Mattel also employs the use of social media to popularize its brand using celebrities to appeal to the fashionable aspect of the Barbie dolls. The companys use of celebrities to popularise the product shows their understanding of the importance of consumer advocacy for products and brands. The internet and social media offer numerous opportunities to voice their thoughts publicly. Mattel uses their voice to establish trust in their brand which is a robust marketing strategy. By tapping into the power of the consumer social activity and shared patterns, Mattel can harness incentives that are more significant and definite than gender.


From the essay, it is correct to say that as the times change so do various cultural values. There have emerged new ways of doing things and different perceptions that have influenced not only individuals social lives but also their product and service purchasing behaviors. These behaviors are evident in various product and brand changes made by different companies to appeal to the changing market preferences. From the essay, it is notable that companies such as Mattel have utilized the available opportunity presented by the cultural value transformation in the gender target marketing that is considered outdated. The company has applied various marketing strategies to establish and promotes a brand that is all inclusive of both male and female genders. This approach has boosted sales and enabled it to move with the changing times and appeal to a more liberal market with different cultural values.

Below are screenshots of the Mattel product advertisements with a link where consumers can purchase Moschino Barbie Dolls: (


Below is a screenshot of the Moschino Barbie Doll advertisement and a link to YouTube where the video can be viewed. (



Moss, G. (2016). Gender, design and marketing: How gender drives our perception of design and marketing.

Taylor, G. (2013). Targeting your market: Marketing across generations, cultures & gender : the role of socio-demographics in modern marketing.

Kiefaber, D. (2015, November 18) Mattel Wins Praise for Having a Boy in This Barbie Ad, but There's More to the Story. Retrieved from

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