Amy Ochoa on Building a Customer Base
You open a retail store with a simple goal: get customers through the front door. Hey, you've got stellar products that people only need to look at and feel, and sales will occur naturally.
But how do your future customers find your store? And how can these busy people be enticed to come soon? Direct mail, of course. So while many retailers of all sizes neglect this crucial, low-cost channel-relying on general ad spending-some use direct mail early and often.
One such company is the Build-A-Bear Workshop, the concept of which was born from owner Maxine Clark's desire to reinvent retailing for the 21st century and was a culmination of her years of retail experience and a desire to bring the fun back to shopping. Fortunately, for the prospect, that fun remains in its direct mail, which figures prominently in its direct marketing efforts.
Now there are 375 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide. Whether it's promoting new products and special events, employing loyalty mailings to communicate with members, or synergizing with its online marketing, Build-A-Bear owes much of its success to direct mail. I spoke with Build-A-Bear's manager of direct marketing, Amy Ochoa, about how the company built its mail and continues to make it work so well.
Boldt: What makes Build-A-Bear Workshop such a special place for its customers?
Ochoa: Build-A-Bear Workshop is the only global company that offers an interactive, make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. It was founded as an interactive retail entertainment experience based on the enduring love and friendship that connects all of us to stuffed animals, and especially to our teddy bears. Build-A-Bear Workshop offers an experience and a new friend. Whether a guest is a sports fanatic, a fashionista or a member of the military, he or she can find the perfect personalized selection to match his or her interests.