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Build-A-Bear: Build a Memory

Essay by   •  March 6, 2011  •  Term Paper  •  1,520 Words (7 Pages)  •  2,803 Views

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Build-A-Bear: Build a Memory

1) The needs of a Build-a-Bear customer entail care, warmth, the feeling of being in the right place, and a mode of expressing themselves as an individual. No matter where a consumer goes, they need to feel cared about and respected before purchasing a product. With Build-a-Bear, in particular, stuffed animals (along with chocolate and flowers) provide a feeling of warmth and pleasure. So, when a consumer is shopping for a stuffed animal, they would expect no less. Build-a-Bear customers also need a feeling of belonging which they receive after purchasing their stuffed animal and visit the Virtual Cub Advisory Council. Build-A-Bear customers also need a way to express their identity and this they can do in a multitude of ways. For example, the customer first is able to choose from not only unstuffed teddy bears, but also an array of other unstuffed animals which include cheetahs, dogs, gorillas, and many more. Afterwards, the customer can choose if they want a 'voice box' where they can make their own automated recording to place inside the stuffed animal subsequent to being stuffed. When the customer gets to the 'Dress me' station, they can choose the clothing down to the shoes and purse to put onto the stuffed animal. And, finally, at the 'Name me' station, the customer is able to give the stuffed animal a birth certificate which entails the animals own personal name of the customer's choice. All of these factors give the purchaser a way of expressing themselves as an individual. The wants of a Build-a-Bear customer include the perfect product for a good price, a knowledgeable and friendly staff, they want the produce done 'their way',they want something that is trendy and new. Demands occur when a customer feels that the price of the product is not equivalent to the product itself.

2) A. In a Build-a-Bear transaction money is exchanged for not only a stuffed animal, but also an experience. The experience consists of a personal and fully customizable product made by the customer themselves. There are many options for the customer to design the perfect product to fit their personality. They go through a variety of 'work stations' where they are able to choose a voice box that has a variety of different popular songs, giggling, different word phrases, or the customer can even record themselves singing or talking. Then the customer is able to find an outfit to fit their personality which could include everything from sunglasses to Sketchers TM shoes. This entire process leads to an incredibly satisfied customer walking away with an item that is now a piece of the customer's identity.

B. Build-A-Bear's marketing elements are quite strong. Their price is very competitive. Their lowest-priced stuffed animal is only $10.00 and with a coupon, which is easily accessible online, a stuffed bear can be as cheap as $5.00. In terms of place, Build-A-Bear locations are all over the United States. Maxine Clark (CEO of Build-A-Bear) has opened over 370 Build-A-Bear workshops all around the country. Most of these stores are in malls which is a smart move on behalf of Build-A-Bear because its an all in one stop shop for people all over the country. Even though Build-A-Bear might not be on the minds of consumers walking into a mall, a simple pass by the store can lead to the consumer walking in and possibly purchasing an item.

3) The best marketing management concept for Build-A-Bear is to build profitable customer relationships. I say this because Maxine Clark interacts with her customers daily. Not only does she visit 2-3 Build-A-Bear workshops a week, but she also responds to about 1500 e-mails a day from her customers. All of her customer relationships are proven to be effective because she has stated before that more than half of Build-A-Bear business is returning customers. Also, 500,000 new visitors go to www.buildabear.com per week. In reading the consumer's e-mails and physically visiting Build-A-Bear workshop stores, Maxine is able to learn about the demands that customers want such as new accessories, animals, and clothing.

4) Not only are Build-A-Bear's prices competitive and up to par, Build-A-Bear also creates an experience for their customers. And, depending on the person, an experience that brings joy and happiness is not something that a price tag can be put on. It is a way for parents to bond with their children and a way for boyfriends and girlfriends to spend quality time with one another that creates a memory. Some customers have even stated that they are paying for the experience

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