The perfect concept
When we were kids, we absolutely loved our favorite teddy bear or some of us may have couple favorite toys. Do you remember how important that one was to you? We hugged them when we were happy and when we cried, we swept our tears to them. It was a friend who you could tell every little secret buy knowing they were totally safe with it. Could you ever image when you were a child that you could actually build your dream teddy bear by yourself? I couldn’t. But let me tell you it is possible. I wish I would have known that when I was a child.
Nowadays Build a bear-concept is very known business idea. It answers right to customer’s needs. I read a book about design thinking and there were a chapter about this concept and how does it work. Build a bear workshop is located in Denmark. It all starts when a customer walks into the store. The shop has divided into seven different steps towards building a child’s dream teddy bear. Let me tell you the steps. (Rantanen. M. 2016. Tunnelmamuotoilu)
First step ”Choose me”
Kids can choose their favorite animal and there are many options where to choose. There is something to everybody. Different kind of shapes and sizes and also different animals.
Second step ”Hear me”
In this step a kid can choose the voice for their stuffed animal. You could also choose soundless which is every parents choice of course.
Third step ”Stuff me”
Next kids can fill their teddy bears. They can choose how soft and cuddly they want it to be or they can fill it all the way. Also, in this point kids gets a heart for the teddy bear. It’s supposed to place the heart to the teddy bear but it’s not just only placing the heart inside, there’s a way to do it. First kids place the heart close to the ear so the teddy bear would hear kids worries. Then the heart is placed in front of eyes so it could see. Then it placed to in front of mouth so the bear could speak and talk with kids. At the last thing kids can tell a secret to the teddy bear and it will stay with it forever. Rantanen told that this game took kids to their own wonder world when they went to this process. (Rantanen, M. 2016. Tunnelmamuotoilu)
Fourth step ”Fluff me”
This step will teach children how to take care of their teddy bear like a mother takes care of her child. After teddy bears got their hearts, they will be sued up from the back. Then they go thru a journey to become ready stuffed animal.
Fifth step ”Name me”
Kids get to give a name they want to their teddy bear and also, they get a birth certificate for the bear. There’s marked down the name, who is the mother, day of birth and an email. Customers are also registered to become a loyalty customer of the shop. After they are registered kids have their birthday wishes and invitations to teddy bear events.
Sixth step ”Dress me”
I think this spot is every little girls dream. Kids gets to choose an outfit, shoes and some little piece of accessories. There are plenty of where to choose from! So, everybody will definitely find their favorite piece.
Last step ”Take me home”
This is where it all ends but it’s not just boring go home kind of thing. The end is also very much thinking trough. At the end teddy bears will be placed in their own little box but the box is like little sweet cottage of the bear.
It is all about the details and what kind of atmosphere they have built into the store. It’s very much an experience to the kids and the parents also. Kids can build a toy as how they have dreamed it to be with, in every last detail. They have so many options that choosing only one product can be tough sometimes. For sure there is something to everybody. So, this concept is absolutely perfect! Also, parents get to see the real joy of their kids. At the end of this children and parents have a lot to talk about this later and there is also so much to remember when they are older, kids will get good memories from this.
If we watch this concept form the consumers point of view, it’s a great idea. The shop will build a need for the kids but at the same time they will fulfill the need. It’s important that every customer feels they are a very special one and gets personal service. Here it is very much true. Families goes this tour with employee. Employee will guidance kids in every step and they will tell what to do next and they will be a friend for the kids on that journey. In this case everything starts and comes up from the employee. That means the company have to take care for its employees. It is important because they do so much for the customers, and they are big part of customers experience. If an employee doesn’t stand behind the concept it cannot provide the best service for the customers. That will show for the customer by behavior of the employee. And in this case when customer and employee work very closely it is important to build a trust between them even though it’s a likely short time they spend together. But like I have said it’s also so experience with a big memory print. The employee creates the atmosphere and also the storyline but the experiment will flowy by itself . This is not an easy job, but it gives so much joy also employees. Every little customer is different kind and the journeys are also different.
Design thinking courage to ask and questioned the way things are done. So, is there anything how the concept could be developed? Every teddy bear shop created a value and meaning for every product. But I learned that you can do special and magical things form almost everything if you only are willing to work for the details and make the things valuable and meaningful. The customer will feel themselves special and that’s what we all want from the service we get. And how do that? In design thinking we can affect to people with so many ways. We can create the atmosphere and guide the customer to the direction what we want by using the right words, body language, how we treat them and setting has the great influence. Companies will achieve big thing only if they remember to appreciate and respect customers.
Rantanen Marjo. 2016. Tunnelmamuotoilu. Helsinki: Talentum Media Oy.