1. Describe both the primary market as well as secondary markets for Build-A-Bear. (Please note there is more than one secondary market. ) Primary Market. Although children are the principal consumers of Build-A-Bear stores, families with a middle or high income with 6-14 year children wanting to express themselves when building stuffed animals, are the market target because they can afford to purchase the customized bear for them. Secondary Markets. ) Sports fans, adult male customers, from 20 to 45 years, who like sports such as Baseball, Football, Hockey or Soccer go to stadiums to watch their favorite team and also want to get the stuffed animal as their mascot. b) People who can afford to buy an innovative gift and want to surprise their best friends, no matter how old they are, to express their friendship. c) Teenagers, between 14 and 20 years old, who are in relationship and want to give a present such as a customized stuffed animal to either boyfriend or girlfriend; that represents their feelings. ) Young adult women with a middle or high income may want to offer a gift such as a customized stuffed animal to their family on holidays or celebrations.
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of offering a highly entertaining retail atmosphere?
- Although the target market is families with children, the company can direct its efforts to cover another segment markets such as teenagers or sports fans.
- The Store offers a great shopping experience through the interactive manufacturer process allowing customers to create their own bear. The sales associates are very personable and personalize the communication with customers who are referred to as “Guests”.
- This retail company does not have strength direct competitors that operate the same retail format.
- The price is a limitation for people who have low income and cannot afford this kind of presents.
- The production cost is higher than the regular teddy bear.
- The company has to renovate clothes and accessories constantly to meet the requirements of new fashion.
3. External environmental factors can have a direct impact on a retailer’s strategy.
Discuss how each of the following external environmental factors could have a positive or a negative impact on Build-A-Bear: Economy The Company can direct its expansion to other countries, especially to undeveloped countries or BRIC’s economies which have had the fastest growth in the few past years and where environment conditions allow businessmen to manage their own franchises. On the other hand, economic crisis or recession could stop the growing expansion of company, affecting its sales and incomes and forces the company to change its growing strategy.
Technology Although Build-A-Bear store has special manufacturer machines to create the stuffed animals, continual updates and developments in new technology may do better and faster work than current machines. If Build-A-Bear embraces these technologies’ changes by implementing them in its stores, this may offer a better experience. Competition. If a company finds this retail format as a profitable store, it might start its own business and compete directly for target segment dollars.
Therefore, if a franchisee or franchisees break the contractual agreement up, they can operate their own retail company and direct their efforts to the same primary target market and offer other services and the share of market will decrease at a rapid pace. Social trends The ongoing changes in fashion trends could affect the company scale economies because accessories and clothing which are sold in the store can be out of the season in a short time.
4. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the following Build-a-Bear website http://www. uildabear. ca/ from the perspective of each of the following based on your response to Question 1: a) Families with children.
- It is a good option to purchase for parents who do not have much time to go to the mall.
- Games and other activities focus on children to interact with them, also they can learn by playing on the website.
- Parents can find information about the company and its products, environment, and funds that supported.
- Many children do not know how to use a computer so it is difficult for he company’s website to direct its efforts to this primary target.
- Shopping through the website is a weakness because it is not the child who decides to purchase their bear, but the parent who can purchase it on the website because the payment is made via credit card.
- The experience may not be what the child wants, but it gives parents an affordable option to purchase.
- Most of the customers go online to browse the products before going to the store because people want information first. Thus, the company’s website is the first contact with a teenager customer.
- Teenagers can see promotions on the website and plan to go to the store whenever they want.
- Teenagers cannot purchase online because most of them do not have credit cards to purchase.
- The website focuses especially on children and teenagers who can feel that the website is too childish to browse, and there are not activities appealing to teenagers.
- The website is too busy, and it is difficult to know what people can do first. . Explain three ways Build-A-Bear could generate repeat visits to the store. It could be something Build-A-Bear is currently doing or it could be something new. For each of the ways identified explain why you think it will be effective. I do not want to lower prices because I think the offer is good because it is a customized service
- A good idea would be to provide better games in the virtual website and a specific Build-a-Bear social network for children to create exactly their bears as real life.
By combining both game and social network to set up a game such as “Pet Society” and including to Bearemy Bear as a host in a Build-a-Bear website virtual game, children can interact with other friends while they are playing. By offering this free game on the website, children can play and obtain rewards or discount coupons each time they are advance levels or recommending the game to other friends and then can exchange them on the store. By so doing this, children will tell their parents to go to the mall and purchase a new bear and accessories in the Build-A-Bear Store.
By creating this new platform, they can provide this new virtual experience and make better experiences, generate sales, and amplify the service in the store.
- Other way would be offering more officially licensed sports logos for other sports or teams or create new bears and relate them to teen/teenager celebrities and schedule signing autographs on some stores to increase visits and generate more sales as it does now with Victoria Justice and her bear or the Jonas brothers and create more traffic in the store. The third one would be creating alliances with entertainment distributors, studios or agencies to obtain exclusive movie or concert tickets for families each time they buy a bear or accessories into the store.
- Another one would be offering a babysitting into the store where parents can do shopping in other stores. By doing this, children can play with bears and cultivate the desire to acquire one and when parents come back, their son or daughter will demand one teddy bear. Therefore, it is a way to train the future Build-a-Bear clients ,as a result, they will be more aware of the offering products that are online and in store.