July 3, 2010

How to Build-A-Business with a Heart

The Moms with their dolls @ the 1st BABW store 
Last day of the Conference - Picture courtesy of ZenMommy

Spending 2 days at Build A Bear Workshop Bearquarters for the company's 1st Brand Building Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri with 24 other savvy, cool moms was not only inspirational but also exceptionally informative! And being one of two moms who came all the way from North Carolina to learn alongside a convergence of  moms from the Midwest was an opportunity beyond sheer luck! It was a blessing and truly enriching.

I was filled with enchantment and mesmerized by all the things I experienced and learned all those two days and its' easy to see why :

Besides all the fun that we all had, the conference was more than I envisioned it to be. It offered a very comprehensive and no-fail-approach to building a brand or a business, the best secret being:  putting a heart into it. Below are a few highlights from the workshop:

Adrienne Weiss on Branding:
  •  Tell your Story - This personally made a great impact to me. Branding is story-telling. There's a story in every product or service. Let it speak for you. When you tell your story it creates a connection on a personal level which most consumer finds favorable from a brand that doesn't and tends to trust your brand more. So get down and personal. Tell your story!
  •  Your Brand is your own Country - Think uniqueness. Just like a country, your brand should have it's own culture, language, rituals and customs. An identity so different from the rest and uniquely yours.
  • Dream can be bigger than the dream -  No matter how small you think you are and your dream, think of the big possibilities and opportunities that will help grow it. You have the whole world to your disposal.
Maxine Clark on Building:  
  • Take Risks - You'll never know what will work and what won't until you try. Building a business takes a lot of courage. If you don't know the answer, take the step to find out. Just like the Red Pencil  that her teacher used to reward her students whenever they answer wrong. Yes, wrong! By doing so, she has taught them courage and the willingness to try. That Red pencil moment was how BABW was born.
  • Put heart into it - It is easy to identify a business or brand with a heart. They are the ones who put their customers on a pedestal and value them like family. This is what Build A Bear is built on. The love they have not for the business side of it but moreso, for their consumers.
Mary Heston on Internet Safety: 
 with Mary Heston of Wired Moms
  • STOP, block and Tell - To me, these are 3 words to live by when your kids have a regular presence online: gaming sites, chat room etc. and especially when cyber bullying is evident. Taking charge of the situation at the first onset is the key. Protecting our child is our number one priority.
  • Be Specific - Say as you mean it to your child. Talking in gibberish chatter will not get your message across. If you don't want them to run, say walk! Give them specific rules when surfing the web.
Then there's Zach Bonner :
with Zach and Laurie

Who taught us all a great lesson in life. So young yet so full of life and passion. He walks across the country to raise awareness and end homelessness for kids. He started when he was 6 years old. Meeting him and his supportive mom in person was definitely a blessing! Check out his story and his cause at Little Red Wagon and be inspired!

To Maxine and her amazing staffs, To Bob (Papa Bear) for his unparalleled hospitality, the great speakers who enriched our lives and shared their wisdoms, and to all the friends, old and new who made my stay exciting, a beary huge thank you! I had a beary pawsome time! Looking forward to the next #BABWConnect!

Do you have any branding rule or tip that works for you and that you live by?
    See what my fellow moms are saying about their wonderful experience at BABW!


    1. Thanks for the linky. It's nice to have all the posts in one spot.

    2. Great post and thanks for the linky list. I'll be back to check it out.

    3. What a wonderful opportunity and I bed Maxine was quite inspirational, again! I was so impressed by her speech in FL that now I don't mind taking E there for yet another outfit! I saw on one of the linked posts that they are doing more Hello Kitty characters, I know at least one will be joining our home! E loves her Hello Kitty.


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