Confusion Clutters Build-A-Bear Site

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The buildabear.com story (iMarketing News, Feb. 26) said Build-A-Bear chief executive Maxine Clark is considering doing some cross-marketing but is "hesitant to clutter the buildabear.com site."


I'm sorry, but I think she's too late. After seeing the Web site's cute intro screen - and their fantastic company tag line - the site falls apart fast.


Logically, I looked for a "build a bear" link. Nope, didn't find one.


OK, fine. So let's try "let's go shopping." Now we go to what looks like an entirely different Web site, with a different design and different navigation.


Still no obvious "build a bear" link here, but now there's an "online workshop" link on the side. They must think this graphical link doesn't look like a link because they added "click here" beneath it.


And now for the finale. The next page has to be the oddest use of frames in existence. In the main (left) frame, they have a list of numbered items beginning with "1. Browse a Bear." None of these items are links! What are they?


Who knows? But I guess they expect customers to figure it out for themselves. After all, who needs stupid customers, right?


So we ignore this apparently useless frame and look at the pictures of bears on the right. To my dismay, the only links beneath each bear say, "Order bear then dress me." Why is "dress me" an option if you're supposed to do it after you order the bear? No idea.


So what about building a bear?


After clicking and scrolling around, all I get to do is dress the bear? Well, maybe that's not that bad, but it sure comes as a letdown considering the name of the company. I was hoping for a site more like customatix.com, which really lets you build shoes and sneakers.


So much for my devious plans to order a two-headed bear.


Jason Roth, Senior Product Manager, Internet Marketing, Springer-Verlag NY Inc.


jroth@springer-ny.com



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