How To Save American Girl, By An Expert in American Girl Dolls
I've been a fan of American Girl for half of my life. I own every doll. I can't tell you math formulas, but I can tell you the entire history of American Girl dolls. I even once beat American Girl employees working in the headquarters at American Girl history- did you know the first Girl of the Year to release on January 1 was Nicki Fleming in 2007?
I want American Girl to succeed and thrive. I love the dolls and their stories, but because you have been forgetting about the essential elements that make children gravitate to your dolls over a brand like Barbie, as well as rising prices in the face of a recession and inflation on essential goods, sales have been slipping. I don't want American Girl to go out of business in my lifetime and want girls to be able to play with these amazing dolls for years to come, but American Girl needs to make some changes in order to thrive even more. So here's my thoughts on how to save American Girl, from American Girl's biggest fan!
More focus on the historical dolls. The historical dolls are what differentiates American Girl from every other 18 inch doll brand, including Our Generation and My Life As. Without a focus on historical dolls, which are what the brand is known for, American Girl just looks like a run of the mill doll brand. Sure, there are Girls of the Year and other modern lines, but those are execution-based. Historical dolls always work out somewhat because of the recognition of a new historical. More stuff and stories, as well as online content, for the historical characters would be key to getting sales back up.
Focus on character, not clickbait. American Girl's YouTube channel has been flopping lately when they don't use their videos as ads, and it's because they just have been using the same footage and using clickbait keywords like "puppies" and "dancing". They need to make more creative and less duplicative content featuring the actual characters, not random Truly Me dolls like Glam Fam and Travel Twins.
Make more relatable characters. I feel like Corinne would have sold better if her story was about her skiing in a random mountain in Colorado, not in wealthy Aspen. It would be more relatable for a girl if she was closer to Nicki or Mia instead of living in a fancy $350 bedroom while the income gap rises.
Lower the prices! Even though the pandemic's almost over, the economic struggles it brought to light have not gone away and will likely not go away for the next few years. If a family needs to pay rent or buy an American Girl doll, of course they'll pay rent! All items need their prices lowered. Sales are frequent, so I know it can happen!
Basically, get back to the heart of the dolls.