Facebook Business Case Study: Build-A-Bear Workshop

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The Company Background

Build-A-Bear Workshop is an American company that specializes in selling custom-made teddy bears and other stuffed animals. Customers are led through an interactive process of assembling a stuffed toy of their choice. They are allowed to choose the type of stuffed toy (such as a teddy bear, dog, bunny, etc), the amount of stuffing, and then they can choose to dress them up in a wide variety of clothes and accessories that Build-A-Bear also retails. In addition to all that, customers can choose to give their bear a heart which they are supposed to rub and kiss “so that their teddy bear knows them best” and make a wish on before it’s placed inside the bear. They can also choose to put in a microchip that creates sounds when the bear is squeezed. After that, their bears are boxed up and given birth certificates with a name that the customer is allowed to choose.

Facebook Business Case Study: Build-A-Bear Workshop eBookAnother special feature of Build-A-Bear is a barcode inside each stuffed toy with the owner’s contact information so that when a stuffed animal goes missing, finders can return them to any Build-A-Bear store and they can be returned to their rightful owners. This makes each stuffed animal purchased in their store feel completely unique and valuable to the customer.

Build-A-Bear Workshop began in October 1997 when Maxine Clark opened the very first store in St. Louis Galleria. It was an immediate success and the store reached sales of $400,000 within 4 months of opening. Maxine Clark obtained copyrights and trademarks for the company in the late 90’s such as their logo and company slogan, “Where Best Friend’s Are Made.”

The store expanded quickly and by the time it reached 2007, there were more than 400 stores all over the world that had sold more than 50 million bears. In 2011, the Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice was chosen as the new spokesperson for Build-A-Bear Workshop. She has since appeared in several of their commercials.

A General Overview of their Facebook Page
The Build-A-Bear Workshop Facebook page began in 2008 and has since acquired 1,690,785 fans. It also has 7,824 people “Talking about this” which is a feature that shows how many people have liked, shared, or commented on the Facebook page in a week’s time. This is a great indicator of how active a Facebook page is and not simply an inactive page that has just garnered a good number of Likes.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Facebook pageIn addition to that, Build-A-Bear Workshop has 11,619 people who “were here”. This is a feature which shows how many people were in the actual Build-A-Bear Workshops in a week’s time. For businesses to be able to use this feature, they simply have to include all their business addresses in the location section of their Facebook page.

The Build-A-Bear Workshop page that immediately greets people who chance upon it is bright and gaily colored in yellow and blue, the trademark colors of Build-A-Bear Workshop. It features the company logo proudly displayed as their profile picture, along with a photo of “Smile of the Week”.

The “Smile of the Week” is a promotion which encourages people to post photos of themselves along with their Build-A-Bear stuffed toys for the chance to get featured on their Facebook page. It’s actually a brilliant little promotional tool because their wall is filled with a good number of smiling people with stuffed animals because of it. It tells people who come across their Facebook page that their stuffed animals bring smiles. Their wall is also filled with posts and comments by fans, a good indicator of an effective Facebook page.

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