How would you describe Maxine’s Clark’s personality

Graded Assignment #1– Case STudy

Understanding the People Who Work at and Patronize Build-A-Bear Workshop


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How would you describe Maxine’s Clark’s personality?&nbsp;&nbsp;What implications do her personality characteristics have for her behavior as the CEO of Build-A-Bear?

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What are the desired personality characteristics of Build-A-Bear Associates?&nbsp;&nbsp;How might these personality characteristics influence the associates’ work behaviors?

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Describe the perceptions that Maxine Clark has of Build-A-Bear customers.&nbsp;&nbsp;How have these perceptions influenced Clark’s approach to developing the Build-A-Bear business model?

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Would you enjoy or not enjoy working at Build-A-Bear Workshop?&nbsp;&nbsp;Explain your answer.

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Before becoming an entrepreneur, Maxine Clark worked for large retailers.&nbsp; Although she enjoyed working for large companies she was looking for a change.&nbsp; She wanted to have more fun at work.&nbsp; In contemplating this change, Clark
recalls that [e]arly in my career, Stanley Goodman, who was then CEO of May, said something that has stuck with me: ‘Retailing is entertainment, and when customers have fun, they spend more money.’&nbsp; I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew it would involve children, because kids know how to enjoy themselves.

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As a child, shopping was a magical experience for Maxine Clark.
[I]n 1996 she set out to blaze her own path in retail with the goal of recreating that special feeling from her childhood.
&nbsp; She founded Build–A–BearWorkshop, which is the only global company that offers an interactive ‘make your own stuffed animal’ retail-entertainment experience.
&nbsp; As of mid-2011, Build-A-Bear operates more than 400 stores worldwide.&nbsp; Company-owned stores are located in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France.&nbsp; Franchise stores are found in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East.

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Although Build-A-Bear Workshop was ‘the brainchild’ of Maxine Clark, she credits the company’s successful business plan to her godchild, Katie.&nbsp; Caught up in the Beanie Baby craze of the mid-1990s, Clark and her godchild talked about how it would be ‘cool’ to build your own Beanie Babies
and a business plan for what would become Build-A-Bear Workshops began emerging.

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Since the retailer opened its first store in a St. Louis mall in 1997, skeptics have warned that the concept wouldn’t last.
&nbsp; According to Clark, [a]dults told me my idea wouldn’t work.&nbsp; ‘Who wants to make their own stuffed animals?’ they argued.&nbsp; But every kid said, ‘Where is it?&nbsp; When can I do it?’

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However, the company keeps defying critics with strong gains as it broadens its geography, customer types and menagerie.
&nbsp; Build-A-Bear’s core customer demographic is the group known as ‘female tweens’

but the Build-A-Bear product line appeals to a wide range of customers.
&nbsp; Locating stores at zoos and ballparks, which is part of the company’s ongoing expansion plan, is intended to enhance the product line’s appeal for boys, who, in mid-2006, represented only about a quarter of the company’s customers.
&nbsp; Building on the Build-A-Bear success, the company also has launched two additional make-your-own business lines: friends2Bmade for customers to make dolls, and Build-A-Dino, located in T-Rex cafe restaurants, where customers create their own dinosaurs.

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So, who is Maxine Clark, the woman behind the Build-A-Bear Workshop success story?&nbsp; Dubbed the Oprah Winfrey of the retail industry
compassionate, creative and charismatic, Maxine Clark is a feisty, seasoned ex-May Department Stores veteran who doesn’t let one detail get by her.
&nbsp; As the founder and CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Maxine Clark charmed consumers and wowed Wall Street with a concept that set a new template for interactive experiential retailing.
&nbsp; Clark’s success has captured the intense interest of others.&nbsp; In fact, it’s been the inspiration for numerous imitators; Clark herself is a majority investor and key driver behind the launch of Ridemakerz, a toy-car customizing experience.

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Clark asserts that Build-a-Bear workshop isn’t just selling a physical product; it is selling an emotional experience as well.&nbsp; She backs this assertion up with some powerful and moving examples. Mothers bring their children [to Build-A-Bear] after the death of a grandparent or a beloved pet, and parents leaving for Iraq or Afghanistan record their voices in little sound modules they drop into the bears.
&nbsp; An even more tear-jerking example is the case of two men bring[ing] in the 8-year-old girl they adopted just this morning and whisper [to the Build-A-Bear Associate] that she was abandoned by her mother, a drug-addicted prostitute.

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Clark and her team work hard to find associates that are not only capable, but who also care about providing a great Build-A-Bear experience
whether it’s a happy one or a sad one.&nbsp; ‘A Build-A-Bear associate has to be able to handle the smiles and the tears,’ Clark explained.
We’re a business that stands for memories, and those memories can be both happy and sad.&nbsp; Our greatest success has been finding associates who understand that.
&nbsp; Clark observes that [t]he teddy bear has sort of been a quintessential symbol for love, trust, security and cuddliness.&nbsp; But you always want to make it relevant, so if skinny jeans or leggings are popular, our bears can wear that.&nbsp; We also stay up with popular culture.

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When customers create toys at Build-a-Bear Workshop, they make something that is theirs alone.&nbsp; The experience is about self-expression and creativity.&nbsp; At Build-a-Bear it’s all right to act like a kid. That’s appealing to people who are 10 or 60.

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