New Product Initiative Testing

by Emily Jasper on April 1, 2012

Company: Build-A-Bear Workshop

Project Date: June 2011-August 2011

Quick Description: Responsible for aiding in project management and operational enablement for seven new product and program test initiatives, including $40 million in new market opportunity

Description: Before a new product can be launched in all stores, the marketing team at Build-A-Bear Workshop (BABW) manages product testing in select markets. The goal is to evaluate market response and predict success should the product be rolled out to additional stores. Decisions regarding timing, distribution, markets, and promotion activity are made as part of the testing period. Managing new product initiatives includes coordination with cross-functional teams within the organization.

Personal Contribution: During my time working with the National Marketing team, I aided the project management for seven new product and program test initiatives. Responsibilities included weekly meetings and progress checks, creating communications and training materials for store deployment, test market selection, and implementing roll-out strategies for successful tests. Weekly analysis of product financial performance allowed the team to make decisions regarding movement of the product to new markets or to modify promotional activities. Progress for each product test was reported to the CEO and management team weekly. A successful product test included the Angry Birds plush collection, birds and pigs, which began in 50 stores and was later rolled out to all US, Canada, and UK locations.