Today for the first time, I entered an American Girl store. For those who haven’t experienced this phenomenon, it’s a place where first love happens, where girls feel special. And the sales are constant.
How do they do it? A few thoughts:
- They start with great product. There are many doll makers in the nation — many of them better quality than American Girl dolls. But American dolls are “good enough.” They are sturdy (to survive a young girl’s enthusiasm), attractive (to be fun to look at day after day), and realistic (to look human). In addition to their best-known product (the dolls themselves), the company produces quality books aimed at girls’ health, fashion, and creativity; a monthly magazine that doesn’t accept advertising (meaning moms love it, too!); matching girl/doll outfits; stuffed animals; and other accessories.
- They involve emotion. From everything to their corporate identity (“American” and “Girl”) to making the dolls look like real kids, the products and the brand evoke strong emotions. Moms may go down memory lane remembering their first doll and choosing dolls with historical significance. Girls emotionally attach themselves by choosing dolls that look like them, dress like them. And the Dads? Well, the ones I saw in the store actually looked excited to be making a purchase that made their daughters so insanely happy.
- They market. Talk about a marketing success! Everything about their brand is consistent, clean and wholesome. The stores draw you in with wide spaces, attractive colors and a fun atmosphere. And the website is easy to navigate, with simple choices to “Shop,” “Play,” or “Visit.”