Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hello Kitty's $7 Billion Brand

Happy 40th birthday, Hello Kitty. The iconic Japanese character, owned by Sanrio, has been making fans smile since 1974. Sanrio created her after consumer surveys revealed the perennial popularity of cats and dogs (and bears). The company already had a bear character and was licensing Snoopy, so it developed Hello Kitty and a star was born.

Hello Kitty is licensed for a wide variety of products worldwide. She's also the feature attraction in a new Hello Kitty theme park, soon to open in Zhejiang province, China. Hello Kitty has other theme parks in other places (including in her home country of Japan and in Malaysia), to entertain fans of all ages.

By one estimate, the Hello Kitty brand is worth a staggering $7 billion. Her appeal is so broad that Japan now uses her as its ambassador of tourism to China and Hong Kong. Judging by her enduring appeal and profitability, Hello Kitty will be smiling on goods and services worldwide for another four decades--and possibly longer.

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