Teddy bears have always been a symbol of love and a favorite gift among lovers. Since the last decade, thanks to the cocooning trend and the fold on the family, people are in search of what is soft and comfortable. For that reason, the cuddly bear left the world of the children to invade the one of the teenagers and the young adults.
The Anglo-Saxoncountries were the first ones to create mini-teddy bears, often transformed into key rings and carriers of messages: "Do not forget me ", "Kisses", " I like New York " until the famous " I love you " of the St Valentine's Day. This is an original way to deliver an affectionate message in a world where postcard becomes rare. The soft teddy bear is completely worth an abbreviated SMS left on a mobilephone!
Vermont Teddy Bear is a direct marketer: this American company sells and delivers gifts by mail order and Internet. Their principal product line is the Teddy Bear, “the bear-gram”, a Vermont Teddy Bear customized for a special occasion, coming with a greeting card or option other gifts. They are also present on other segments thanks to their diversified offer: delivery gifts other than TeddyBears with the SendAMERICA product line, pajamas and loungewear with the Pajamagram products, retail locations and family tours of the teddy bear factory and store and finally the wholesale/corporate segment for the expansion of the business and the markets.
Vermont Teddy Bear is selling bears today only in the USA, where the success is obvious. So should the firm go abroad ?
I) Definition ofthe industry and activities
Before analyzing the ability of Vermont Teddy Bear to go abroad, it is necessary to know the industry it belongs. It is essential to define what is its main activity to understand what challenges it will face when it will try to go abroad.
To our opinion, the company is working in the gift delivery industry. Indeed, contrary to a lot of other companies in thegift industry, Vermont Teddy Bear is only focused on gifts that people can order by phone, by mail or online. They are not only focused on Teddy Bears in as much as they also sell pyjamas, gowns...with their brand Pajamagram and other US-made gifts products with the brand SendAMERICA. The objective is to offer different customizable presents to be considered as a reference concerning personalizedgifts for special occasions.
Their gifts are only present in two retail stores but they don’t represent the main strategy of the company. Indeed, its business is based on the sales and delivery of customized-gifts. The development of Internet enables the company to develop its sales and communication by this network. Indeed, it will also enable the consumers to have more information about thecompany and the products. In some years, the company primarily uses the Internet to market its services and is probably going to become more and more internet dependant.
We can say that Vermont Teddy Bear is located on different parts of the value chain. First, Vermont Teddy Bear produces a large part of its teddy bears. Indeed, even if 50 per cent of its production is outsourced to overseasmanufacturers, it still has some production capabilities and customers can visit the factory in Vermont.
A large part of its activity is direct marketing. The company has the responsibility to promote and sell its products around the USA. They are responsible of the range of products, the prices, the communication...That is probably the most strategic part of its different primary activities.Finally, another primary activity of this firm is sales and service. As for each player in the delivery industry, logistics are very important to the firm because 62 per cent of Bear-Gram gifts are purchased at the last minute and have to be delivered on time, despite the high-seasonality of the business. It means that the service part is essential to this Vermont Teddy Bear, even if they...