The case talks about the unmatched victory of Build-A-Bear Company that survived the competitive market of stuffed animals and became one of the five hottest retailers in just a couple of years. It carefully analyzes how this one company, despite of the extreme challenges and a very competitive market, was not just able to ensure its survival but also make lucrative profits with flying colors because of its unique marketing strategies.
The success of Build-A-Bear comes not from the quality of the product alone, but by delivering a personalized entertainment experience. It allows customers to modify the bears as per their preferences literally in front of their eyes. The process begins by children entering this fantasy land which puts their imagination to work. This makes everything extremely fun and entertaining and even waiting time doesn’t prove to be an inconvenience. Its customization feature adds sentimental value to the product. Since it is not too costly, with prices starting just at $10, it is equally loved by parents. It is because of these endeavors that the company today has around 200 stores, tailored 30 million bears and generated $350 million revenue in 2005.
Build-A-Bear is not focused on competing with its competitors but rather on selling excellence to its clients. Unlike receiving plainly in the mail, customers individualize their bears which allows them to be creative and expressive. It helps in producing fiercely loyal customers as the attachment they feel with these toys cannot be measured in terms of money. They focus their energies on customer involvement which directly works in the company’s favor as it imparts a promise of value to be delivered and a belief from the customer that value will be experienced.
The organization also emphasizes on customer relations with the CEO visiting two or three stores every week and interacting with them. This helps in generation of ideas from basically customers for customers and not having to rely on management alone for them. They also put this feedback into practice and are successfully venturing a range of additions to their