Build-A-Bear Makes Little Girls and Grown Men Happy :-)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: these guys at Build-A-Bear have it figured out. For a business that is centered around creating best friends for boys and girls of all ages, it’s encouraging (and not surprising) to see how important relationships are to them. But I think they provide a great model in how they use the emotional pull of relationships to drive foot traffic and sales.

Earlier in the summer, we received this in the mail:

Build-A-Bear Summer Scrapbook

A fun, little, fold-out booklet that allows you to create a simple scrapbook and play a few games while you’re at it.

Build-A-Bear Summer Scrapbook

My daughter has kept it under lock and key ever since she pulled it out of our mailbox. She just thinks it’s so neat to look at everything in her “own” little booklet. It’s about her and her bear and all of the possibilities that they have together.

Build-A-Bear Summer Scrapbook

While all of that is great, here’s the thing that really made me happy:

Build-A-Bear Summer Scrapbook

And not because I want a free pool for Build-A-Bearville.

But because of what it stands for.

Yes, it’s essentially a coupon, but for this particular communication, they’re driving me to their online community, not into the store. Which I really appreciate and think is great. This is a different kind of transaction. They’re driving me deeper into the brand experience, pulling on both mine and my daughter’s emotions. They know that the more invested we get in the online community, the more we build out and personalize our experience, the more likely we are to eventually come into the store. And tell others about this community. And our experience.

That’s not all…

Last week, I received this email:

Build-A-Bear Birthday Email

It was of no surprise because last year, I received the same. But in contrast to the swimming pool coupon that drove me deeper into the online community experience, this one is intended to get me into the store. Once I’m in the store, they know I’m probably going to spend more than $5.oo and even more, they’ll have another opportunity to enhance my entire Build-A-Bear experience.

All of this through 2 personalized communications with me. When you think about it, these communications are nothing mind-blowing, particularly from a communicator’s/marketer’s standpoint. But effective doesn’t have to be mind-blowing. It just has to drive action. And that action can be had through emotions.


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