Build-A-Bear - Put a little ❤ into it

Build-A-Bear Workshop is an experience-led retailer founded in 1997 who pioneered an interactive process in which a stuffed animal of choice is assembled and customised during a store visit. With over 400 stores across the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, Middle East & Mexico; they are traded on NYSE as BBW.

We worked closely with their CEO and head of marketing to reimagine their brand’s potential and opportunities. We created two brands: Build-A-Bear and Build-A-Bear Workshop which created more opportunities for licensing and new activities. We have worked to help shape every aspect of the new BAB experience, from in-store through to digital and product.

Refreshing an icon

With over 20 years of history and no major updates to the brand, we knew that customers would be sensitive to change. This made it important to build from heritage, but we also needed to ensure we were creating something that would last the next 20 years. For this, we drew inspiration from what BAB was founded on: fun, imagination, and quality.

Two brands, more opportunities

We separated Build-A-Bear from Workshop, creating a ‘parent’ brand that provided more flexibility while allowing the Workshop brand to focus on the store experience. We worked closely with BAB leadership to get the balance right, retaining the playfulness of the Workshop brand while ‘growing-up’ the Build-A-Bear brand.

Creating a ground breaking typeface

The first of it’s kind custom font, developed to automatically randomise as well as jumble characters. It exists in two layers for the ability to fill in the outline with alternating colours. Created to work in Latin, Japanse, Thai and Arabic. Created in collaboration with typographer Mitja Miklavcic.

An expression to capture imagination

Through the use of custom font, newly established tone of voice, illustration and photography, we captured the experience a child has at Build-A-Bear, where they can build the stuffed animal of their dreams and watch it come to life in real time. We commissioned lifestyle photographer, Sam Robinson to capture the spirit of the brand across generations.

A turnaround gaining momentum

The management team has been hard a work to help create the best conditions for the brand to continue to thrive. The New York Stock Exchange welcomed chief Executive Officer and Director of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., Sharon Price John, to ring the NYSE Opening Bell in celebration of National Teddy Bear Day in September last year.