Sometimes kids get it when adults don't. Sometimes if we just listen to them, when can make millions. That's the message Build-A-Bear founder Maxine Clark passed along to about 300 women in Miami on Friday at a luncheon for The Commonwealth Institute. Clark told us that when she was considering launching a chain of build your own teddy bear stores, the adults she presented the idea thought she was nuts. The kids were thoroughly excited and asked, "Where can I find these stores?"
Now, as chairman of Build-A-Bear Workshop with 407 stores, Clark regularly seeks advice and suggestions from children, often communicating with them online and on Facebook. She says "Children can give you great ideas." For example, Maxine said she originally planned to name the animals for the children. But kids told her how important it was to name the animals themselves. Today, each animal is named and gets a birth certificate. It's one of the factors that make the concept so successful.
We all know kids see life from such a different perspective. Wasn't it Wendy Thomas who inspired her dad to start the Wendy's fast-food empire?
Lately, I've been asking my kids about their thoughts on where the media industry is headed. They have had some pretty interesting ideas. Have you ever sought input from a child in a business decision? Did it work out as well for you as it did for Maxine Clark?