Build a Bear just had a major marketing disaster. Their Get your Age Bear was a big failure.
Thousands were turned away, disappointed moms and kids queueing up for their bears. They should have seen it coming in thousands and they know that they will not be able to handle the overwhelming demand from consumers. This is an ill-thought and ill-executed marketing campaign.
It could have been done well if they have segmented the market where they will start the campaign, pre-positioned the inventory and staff needed to run on those campaign days, and then provide an online alternative for parents to get them online and pick up on different days. The chaos will definitely ensue and that any small store in the mall will be totally engulfed.
Marketing is the engine of any business. If done well, it can boost up sales, customer support, and increase profitability. When done it a wrong way, it can turn away the precious customer affection that takes years to build and nurture.
The CEO apologizing for the disaster the following day is a good mitigation strategy but that it did not vanquish the frustration from the incident. The next Bear the Big marketing event may not get the benefit of the doubt and the marketers may have to grin and bear the consequences.
What happens after a marketing failure sets apart good companies. This is where a good PR can save the day.
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