Build a Bear, Build a Memory

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Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología San José, Costa Rica

Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales January, 2010

Bilingual Business Administration

Principles of Marketing

César Eduardo González

Company Case

Build-A-Bear, Build-A-Memory

Examples of needs, wants, and demands that Build-A-Bear customers demonstrate, differentiating each of these concepts. What are the implications of each on Build-A-Bear actions. Needs:

Understanding needs as states of felt deprivation, not created by marketers but basic parts of the human makeup, we can say that Build-A-Bear customers demonstrate the individual need of self-expression, authenticity, creativity, empowerment, choice, individuality, freedom. They also demonstrate the underlying need that people have to entertain themselves. Wants:

Although Build-A-Bear clients need to find a way to self-express and entertain themselves, they want to “step into a (...) genuine fantasy world organized around a child-friendly assembly line comprised of clearly labeled work stations”, where they can choose unstuffed animals from a bin, stuff them, include voice boxes, stitch them, dress them, name them, and even receive a birth certificate for their creation. This example is aligned with the idea that wants are the form human needs take as shaped by culture and individual personality. Demands:

Giving their wants and resources, Build-A-Bear customers demand specific products that add up to the most valuable and satisfaction. Among the most relevant examples we can mention are both new store locations and accessories. “Mini-scooters, Hello Kitty bears, mascot bears at professional sport venues, and sequined purses” are also specific ideas that were interpreted as customers´ demands by the company. Implication of each (needs, wants, and demands) on Build-A- Bear actions

Needs, wants and demands have huge implications on Build-A-Bear actions. Not only by walking where customers walk, periodically checking its stores and assessing its customer service, but also by employing a mix of low-tech and high tech communication methods to interact with customers, Build-A-Bear demonstrates it is a truly customer-centric organization. This allows the company to fulfill their customers´ needs, wants, and demands through successful market offerings, orchestrating several products and services to create brand experiences for customers.

In detail, describe all facets of Build-A-Bear´s product. What is being exchanged in a Build-A-Bear transaction? In my opinion, Build-A-Bear´s product has two different facets. There is a main facet formed by the intangible “experience of participating in the creation of personalized entertainment” and there is also a second facet formed by a tangible bear that “children clutch as they leave the store”. The main facet begins when children step into a “cartoon land” and interact with the different stations of the “child-friendly assembly line”. The second one, in turn, has the distinctive sign of being unlike any they other object Build-A-Bear customers have ever bought or receive, “they have a product that they have created”. Identifying these two facets helps us determine what is being exchanged in a Build-A-Bear transaction. Base on the idea that an exchange is the act of obtaining a desired object from someone by offering something in return, we can say that Build-A-Bear presents both an experience and a tangible object to fulfill its customers´ needs, wants, and demands. In return, the company receives an average of 25$ per built bear. However, it goes beyond simply attracting new customers and creating transactions. It truly builds and maintains desirable exchange relationships with its target audiences, retaining customers while growing their business.

Which of the five marketing management concept best describes Build-A-Bear workshops? In my opinion,...
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