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5 loyalty lessons from Barbie movie’s marketing triumph

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have noticed that the world has been looking a little more… pink lately. Yes, we’re talking about the Barbie movie. At the forefront of this iconic movie release lies a marketing masterpiece that has captured the hearts of audiences young and old alike. Using both nostalgia and innovation to build anticipation, the Barbie movie marketing team have taken the world by storm. 

And hey, the numbers speak for themselves. The movie ​​slayed the box office with an opening of $155 million, making it the highest-grossing debut of 2023. With such success, it’s no surprise that businesses globally are looking to this campaign for insights they can use themselves. The Barbie marketing team have cracked the code when it comes to creating loyal brand advocates. But how did they do it? And more importantly, how can you

UGC: Create a sense of community with user-generated content

The Barbie selfie generator uses artificial intelligence to transform fans’ own photos into Barbie movie posters, creating a shared experience for hundreds of thousands of users who then go on to share their pictures on social media with the #BarbieTheMovie hashtag. 

Rewarding UGC in your loyalty program is a great way to develop a feeling of community with your own customers, and has the additional benefit of advertising your brand at the same time. Customers trust fellow consumers more than brands, so UGC is a great way to create authentic content that your shoppers will actually buy into. 

Image source: Global Marketing Professor
Image source: Global Marketing Professor

Create an omnichannel experience

Has Barbie been playing hide-and-seek with you too lately? Because she seems to be EVERYWHERE! You take a walk into town, you pass a Barbie movie billboard. You open the Instagram app, you see 7 pieces of Barbie-related content in the first two minutes of scrolling. TikTok? Barbie. Getting on the subway to work? Hey Barbie. Side of the bus that just drove past? Oppenheimer! Just kidding, Barbie again. 

The Barbie movie marketing team utilized every channel possible to reach their audience, and if we’re honest, it worked an absolute dream. This is the mindset you need to have with your loyalty program. You need to create a fully omnichannel experience so that your customers can engage with the program online and in-store, while seeing relevant messaging across email, SMS and all your social media channels too. 

Image source: Variety
Image source: Variety

A strong brand identity is key

Barbie has an incredibly well-established brand identity that has been cultivated over decades. The brand is so instantly recognizable that when presented with just a pink rectangle and a date on a billboard, like below, we all know what it means. 

Image source: Rock Content
Image source: Rock Content

But how is this relevant to you? Well, when it comes to your loyalty program, a strong and consistent brand identity ensures that your customers can easily recognize and associate your loyalty program with your company. 

We always say that your loyalty program should be an extension of your brand, not a separate section of your site that has a different look and feel. By being consistent, this recognition reinforces brand loyalty and trust, making customers more likely to engage with and participate in the program. 

Build emotional connections 

The Barbie movie is dominating the box office right now because it taps into emotional connections to resonate with its audience. The most notable of which is the nostalgia that adults who grew up with Barbie still feel today. Despite having little to no interest in Barbie for the last decade or so, many adults in their 20s, 30s and beyond feel compelled to go and watch the movie. Why? Because that emotional connection is still there! It’s still interesting, it still means something, we still ‘get it’. 

This is the power of emotional connections, and it’s why we aggressively bang on about building up emotional connections with your loyal customers. It really matters. Forget deals and discounts, use your loyalty program to foster emotional connections with your shoppers by inviting your top customers to VIP events, sending them newly-lanched products before anyone else, or letting them spend their loyalty points with a charity they really care about. By making your customers feel something about your brand, they’re much less likely to stray when a competitor comes along with cheaper pricing. 

Above all; know your customers

By diligently knowing their audience and aligning their content and marketing efforts accordingly, the Barbie movie marketing team has captivated millions of people around the world over the past weeks and months.

Similarly, understanding your own customer’s preferences, interests, and pain points is crucial for setting up your loyalty program for success. What kind of perks make them tick – is it free shipping and a discount on their next order? Or would a charitable donation have more of an impact? The best way to find out what your customers really want is to ask them, and we aways recommend speaking to your customers to get to know them better. 

Key takeaways 

The Barbie movie’s marketing triumph is a testament to the power of understanding your customers, creating emotional bonds, and employing innovative strategies. By applying these five loyalty lessons, you too can forge lasting connections with your customers and thrive in today’s competitive ecommerce landscape.

Want to learn more about what we do here at LoyaltyLion? Take a look at our platform. 

About the author

Georgie Walsh

Georgie is the Content Marketing Manager at LoyaltyLion. Georgie has spent most of her 6+ years marketing in B2B companies, and has developed a huge passion for bringing B2B voices alive through engaging copy and memorable storytelling.

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