Archive for the ‘ Innovation ’ Category

Build-A-Brand Brilliant!

Build-A-Bear WorkshopHere’s an inspiring “Think Differentiated” moment written by Fortune Magazine’s Dinah Eng on (3/19/12) focused on Maxine Clark’s brilliant Build-A-Bear brand. Maxine Clark got the idea for Build-A-Bear from a frustrated little girl. Maxine was shopping for Beanie Babies with Katie Burkhardt, the daughter of a good friend. There wasn’t anything new to buy, and Katie suggested making her own bear. “Her words gave me the idea to create a company that would allow people to create their own customized stuffed animals,” says Maxine, who at the time had left her job as president of Payless ShoeSource because “the retail world had lost its spark.”

Her vision was to create “a theme park factory in a mall,” and the adults didn’t get it. “Every parent said, Why would you want to make your own stuffed animal when you can buy it at Target?” But their kids loved the idea. Maxine didn’t conduct any focus groups, but did create a Cub Advisory Board, in which kids could offer opinions. She took $750,000 out of her retirement fund to open her first store, and secured a bank line of credit, with her home as collateral. A story in the St. Louis Business Journalattracted an investment firm. When Maxine’s first Build-A-Bear store opened in the St. Louis Galleria, “there was a line out the door.”

Originally it was “just bears and clothes,” and then came “shoes, accessories, then more animals.” Licensed products from Disney and Major League Baseball teams followed. “We hit a good nerve,” says Maxine. “At a time when everything was going high tech, high touch and hands-on was a good balance.” That was back in the late ’90s, but today Build-a-Bear “operates 425 stores” in 19 countries (almost 40% outside the US) and in 2011 had revenues of $394.4 million. “We focus on good price, convenience, and location, and we hope that when you leave, you have a smile on your face,” says Maxine. “Successful retailers — whether it’s Macy’s or Apple — do these things.”

There’s Now An App for That: Seek and You Shall Find…An Internship!

Internships.com | Internship Seeker Mobile Appication

Internships.com | Internship Seeker Mobile Appication

Circle®Brands is thrilled to announce our client, Internships.com, the worlds largest online database service for student internships, has just created and made available their first iPhone/iPod App: Internship Seeker.

The  free mobile application provides access to thousands of available internship listings. Features include search by keyword or location, detailed descriptions, save searches, share listings with friends and more. Click on the link to download the Internship Seeker app from Internships.com.

Download Internships.com new Internship Seeker Mobile App here: http://www.internships.com/mobile

ABC News: How Dirty Is Your Makeup? See What ‘GMA’ and Our CleanliNEST™ Crusading Environmental Scientist, Connie Morbach Found Out And What To Do About It.

Hundreds of people use makeup counter testers every day, but unfortunately not everyone uses the disposable applicators provided. Dirty fingers dipped in makeup can spread everything from herpes to pink eye. GMA wanted to find out just how unhealthy it is to use makeup past its prime, so we collected a few samples to send to a lab where Environmental Scientist, Connie Morbach, M.S., CHMM, CIE, examined the findings: lip gloss from Meagher, liquid eyeliner from our own Juju Chang and mascara and eyeliner pencil from some “GMA” staffers. Watch the story unfold here.

CleanliNEST™ website: http://www.cleanlinest.com

CleanliNEST™ blog: http://cleanlinest.wordpress.com/

Connie Morbach of CleanliNEST™ Featured in C & G News

CleanliNEST™'s Connie Morbach All Suited Up Taking Mold Samples

CleanliNEST™'s Connie Morbach All Suited Up Taking Mold Samples

We’re excited to announce that Sanit-Air’s CleanliNEST™ crusader Connie Morbach was featured in today’s C&G News in an insightful feature written by the C and G’s Christa Buchanan. Click on the link to read and learn more: http://www.candgnews.com/Homepage-Articles/2010/06-23-2010/Indoor-contaminants.asp

CleanliNEST™ website: http://www.cleanlinest.com

CleanliNEST™ blog: http://cleanlinest.wordpress.com/

Circle®Brands President, Susan Murphy, to be Featured in Woman’s World Magazine’s May 28th Issue

We’re excited to announce that our fearless leader, Susan Murphy, president of Circle®Brands | Brand Architects, will be featured in the May 28, 2010 issue of Woman’s World magazine. Woman’s World, with a readership of over 8,062,000, is written for the traditional, family-oriented working woman. Woman’s World delivers a feel-good mix of heart-warming human interest stories and practical everyday solutions for work and home in every issue – America’s premiere weekly service book.

Since arriving at Woman’s World in 1994, Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Saible has led the popular women’s service magazine to be the best selling magazine on newsstands in the United States. Ms. Saible’s editorial vision seeks to inspire today’s women while enhancing and enriching their lives with a positive message. Saible values her readers and maintains a loyal audience who view Woman’s World as their weekly bible for lifestyle, health, cooking, and fashion and beauty information.

Woman’s World Magazine can be reached at this link: http://winit.womansworldmag.com/

Look Who’s Talking About Circle®Brands!

Susan Murphy | President, Circle®Brands“When venturing into uncharted territory, like Circle®Brands has boldly done by upending the traditional approach to branding, it’s nice to know we’re not alone. I’d like to share some thoughtful comments and words of encouragement from a variety of esteemed colleagues. We value their support, as it can get lonesome out here when you’re a category of one.” ~Susan Murphy, President, Circle®Brands

Doug Hall | Founder & CEO Eureka! Ranch

Susan,  WOW Very – Very – Very Cool! This is a DRAMATIC Difference!

1. I’d like to understand your pricing model and terms (do due diligence)

2. I’d like to get your stuff “loaded” into the marketplace

3. I’d like to explain the B to B world that MEP “owns.”

I think there’s an opportunity for you in that space.

Doug Hall

Founder & CEO

Eureka! Ranch

USA National Innovation Marketplace

www.PlanetEureka.com

www.USAInnovation.org

Karen Post

Susan, WOW!!! I love what you’ve done. Can we chat next week?

Karen Karen Post

The Branding Diva®

www.brandingdiva.com

www.braintattoo.com www.oddpodz.com

Sandra SellaniSusan, Your concept is AMAZING and truly unique. So many people struggle with developing brands. I know there are people out there that need you.

I would be very interested in learning about the process of marketing through closed deal. If I know of someone who can use your service, I will definitely send them your way.

Sandra Sellani

The Sellani Group Brand Strategists

Author, What’s Your BQ™ www.whatsyourbq.com

Carol FrankHi Susan:

I am impressed with your forward thinking and creativity.  I think you may have hit on something here as I think you will see more people than ever trying to “break out and break away.”

I would be available Wednesday or Friday between 9:30 and 11:30 MST for a phone visit, if that fits with your schedule. If not, it will have to be one day next week.

Regards,

Carol Frank
BirdsEye Consulting
Acclaimed Author, Entrepreneur
www.carolfrank.com

www.luckynapkin.com/carol-frank

Keith GranetDear Susan:

I love your thinking!  At this point we are in the works with a fairly large company that will be licensing Carolyne Roehm’s name and designs, thus we will not have a need for 1-800-IN-BLOOM although I love the idea. Maybe some one else will fit the bill in the future.

Congratulations on your company it seems extremely innovative. Thank you for your patience and for contacting me.

Keith Granet

Granet & Associates
www.granet.net

www.interiordesign.net/article

Graeme ThickinsThanks for the email, Susan.

I love it!  You obviously know what you’re
doing with naming!!!

You have a great foundation here, to do
some really solid marketing of your business.

Love the “service” thing…fantastic positioning
or differentiation in this market.

Congratulations — you’re way ahead of most
startups!  🙂  And certainly most purveyors
of flowers….

best regards,
Graeme Thickins
Founder & President
GT&A Strategic Marketing Inc.
www.gtamarketing.com
Author: “Branding & Marketing to Win
in the Knowledge Economy”

Allan Boress, CPA, CVASusan,

What a great idea. WE Do the Math® at 1-800-CPA-MATH. Brilliant.

Allan Boress CPA, CVA

www.allancpa.com

Noted CPA and sales and marketing professional

honored as one of the

“100 Most Important People in the Accounting Profession.”

Jeffrey Zaslow | WSJ Reporter, Author, & Co-Author of "The Last Lecture"

Glad to see this on wsj.com.

Good luck with Circle®Brands! Cool concept.

Best,
Jeff

Jeffrey Zaslow
Wall Street Journal, Reporter, Author & Co-Author of “The Last Lecture”

www.wsj.com

www.thelastlecture.com