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Hello Kitty Megabrand Makes Cute Cool
By: Cindy Wendland
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Hello Kitty was a popular brand in the 1970s, and popularity came back around in the 1990s as the market was expanded to include teens and grownups as a retro brand. Today as Hello Kitty nears 40 years of age, Hello Kitty is a billion-dollar success story loved by all ages.

Many adult women fondly remember Hello Kitty from their childhoods. It was featured on stationery items, markers, stamps, and clips. Now we are buying it for our children, and it is on everything — clothing, toasters, note pads, electronics, jewelry, baby products, and beer.

Sanrio produces Hello Kitty and the founder of Sanrio is Japan’s Shintaro Tsuji. In Japan he is likened to Walt Disney. He knows how to move merchandise with a global licensing program and has built a fashion icon and megabrand. When a product is that loved, it also seems to be that unloved (hated). Publicity of any kind of usually good, so the kitty hater bloggers are just serving to help the lovers more deeply entrench themselves.

People who have written about and evaluated Hello Kitty find one piece of the brilliance of the marketing to be the fact that she has no mouth. Therefore, she is a zen cat. She can be whatever you want her to be — happy when you are happy, sad when you need a friend, or a girl power icon, like when Lady Gaga licensed Hello Kitty.

Hello Kitty is also successful because she can incorporate new trends. She might be a princess one year, featured in plaid the next, and in pink the next. She can adopt the latest styles while still appealing to her fans. This brand has wide consumer appeal due to its cuteness, licensing, and ability to adapt.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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