Here’s Barbie! Cruise Lines Form Strategic Partnerships

The million-dollar question is – where’s Ken?

I say that because Royal Caribbean International – the famed cruise line – has just partnered with Mattel, bringing Barbie, the world’s most popular doll, to the high seas. It’s called the “Barbie Premium Experience” and it’s available exclusively on 22 RCI ships, starting in January 2013. There will be events such as Barbie Movie Night, Story Time, and by-invitation-only tea parties as well as fashion shows. This is a smart strategic partnership that is sure to wow parents and their children. As an expert in small business marketing, I can tell you that there’s no reason that small businesses can’t form the same kind of strategic partnerships, with big businesses, or other small companies in their local community. It always creates a win-win for everyone.

In another cruise-ship strategic partnership, Carnival Cruise Lines has partnered with blond dynamo Guy Fieri, the Food Network star and host of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Fieri is the brains behind the cruise line’s “Guy’s Burger Joint,” offering hamburgers, French fries and other goodies, using special recipes, and even including his well-known Donkey Sauce. It’s been a tremendous hit. The venue named after the gregarious globetrotter serves an amazing 1,100 burgers per day, and on some days even doles out 2,500 hamburgers. Cruise-goers can select from several kinds of hamburgers including the Chilius Maximus including – you guessed it – chili – and the Bourbon and Brown Sugar, all complemented with the hand-cut French fries featuring Guy’s Signature Seasoning. This is another great example of a smart marketing idea with deliciously different results.

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