Competitive Position of Build-A-Bear Workshop

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I. Introduction
This paper is aim to have a quick analysis of current competitive position of Build-A-Bear Workshop in the toy industry and challenges it faces, and to provide Build-A-Bear Workshop with some short-term and long-term recommendations to continue its success in toy industry. This paper mainly apply Porter’s five forces analysis, external environment analysis, financial analysis and value chain analysis.
II. Case Summary
Build-A-Bear Workshop was an American toy retailer, which was founded by Maxine Clark in 1996 in St. Louis, Missouri. Build-A-Bear Workshop main served teddy beard and other stuffed animals, and accessories for teddy bears and other stuffed animals. According to professor Eisner, Korn, Baugher, and graduate student Vojtkova (2011), “Build-A-Bear Workshop was founded 13 years ago on a simple but powerful idea: to create a successful company with heart” (p. C259). In order to differentiate itself from other toy producers, Build-A-Bear Workshop served customers with interactive experience by “allowing its customers to make, personalize and customize stuffed animals od their choosing” (p. C262). As professor Eisner et al. (2011) concluded, “the company (Build-A-Bear) differentiated itself from the competition with marketing initiatives that facilitated stronger connections with its customers” (p. C262) In addition, Build-A-Bear Workshop exercised its focus strategy by narrowing its product lines. Build-A-Bear Workshop earned a big success in the past decades.
However, Build-A-Bear Workshop also exercised some big challenges, especially during economic recession. Shifting markets, fluctuating economy, developing of Internet, and changeable preference of kids were all negatively affecting Build-A-Bear Work...

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...hop to have a comprehensive analysis of basic learning needs of customers of all ages. This strategy can be costly because it requires Build-A-Bear Workshop to provide continues investment to develop different types of products which can meet customers’ various learning needs. This strategy could give Build-A-Bear Workshop a competitive advantage for long time and further expand its global expansion because the rapid growing world make customers of all ages have a great need of learning various skills. However, as preferences and demands of customers are changeable, it is really hard for Build-A-Bear Workshop to predict learning needs of customers, so Build-A-Bear Workshop’s investments may not generate high returns.

Works Cited

Eisner, A. B., Korn. J. H., Baugher, D., &Vojtkova, L. (2011). Build-A-Bear Workshop. Strategic Management (text & cases) 6th. C259-C267
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