Content Marketing Brings Retail Brands To Life
Condé Nast recently announced that fashion magazine Lucky would spin off into its own division, The Lucky Group, and converge with BeachMint to create an e-Commerce platform.
BeachMint, which is parent company to brands like JewelMint and StyleMint, will provide the technology for a new Lucky e-Commerce/lifestyle site, which is set to launch in early 2015.
This news has accelerated interest in content marketing within the retail world. However, content marketing has been present in the industry for quite some time. Below, RTP editors share their favorite example of content marketing executed by a retailer or brand.
Debbie Hauss, Editor-in-Chief: I hate to state the obvious, but the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is brilliant content marketing. It combines social media, community, entertainment and charity to bring an infinitely diverse group of people together to support a good cause. I actually didn’t expect to be challenged, but I couldn’t say no when my sister mentioned my name in her video. I felt compelled to complete the challenge and donate to the charity. Another similar type of content marketing that has had an impact on me is the Beagle Freedom Project. After watching the video posted on Facebook showing beagles seeing the sunshine for the first time, playing together and touching the grass, I could not stop myself from donating.
Alicia Fiorletta, Senior Editor: Powerful and memorable content marketing helps add more context and meaning to a brand. Whether it’s a blog, social post or Instagram image, content can turn a product into a lifestyle. Michael Kors has done this in a multitude of ways. Not only do the designer and brand have a stellar social presence, Kors himself developed a lifestyle web site, called Destination Kors. The site includes blogs from Kors, as well as posts related to style, beauty and travel. Kors takes the opportunity to tout his own collection via Kors TV, which show the making of seasonal ad campaigns. Destination Kors is a go-to-spot for relevant lifestyle articles, and definitely makes the designer’s products more glamorous and aspirational. Kudos to you, Michael!
Kim Zimmermann, Managing Editor: Wegmans is a retailer that has done an excellent job of content marketing. I am admittedly not an enthusiastic cook and I despise grocery shopping. But as a member of their frequent shopper club their high-end magazine arrives regularly in my mailbox (a rarity to get an actual print magazine these days) and I always look to it for inspiration. They do a great job of coordinating the magazine content with messaging in the store and on their web site. They offer tips on cooking techniques, healthy activities and other associated content that isn’t specifically about their products but inspires me turn to the brand more than I might have otherwise.
Rob Fee, Managing Editor: People who are passionate about a product often seek out the stories behind the product. I’m no different and find that the coffee roasting industry does a tremendous job at this. Take La Colombe Torrefaction. Visitors to the company’s web site can find videos with brewing tips for a variety of methods and detailed information on the beans it offers. What really sets this company apart, though, is a one hour television show that follows one of the company’s buyers as he attempts to source unique coffees. Is the show overly dramatized? I imagine that it probably is, but it also provides a compelling narrative that has, more than once, nudged me to place an order with the company.
Glenn Taylor, Associate Editor: Tesco actually has an alternate web site TescoLiving, which is geared toward parents and displays an entire publication’s worth of how-to guides and articles. The articles highlight tips and ideas for life, particularly involving family, health and well-being, beauty and homes. The general vibe I get from the site is that it wants you to live comfortably. For a major grocer and retailer, I see this as an excellent business model in engaging potential consumers and illustrating that they care about you beyond the purchasing process. It also provides context to a lot of items sold in the store, creating a small value proposition that might not be provided in other major retailers.
Brian Anderson, Associate Editor: A brand that’s always wowed me with their content is Red Bull. This company gets their audience, and understands the type of brand image they want to present to them. Having people skydiving from outer space and other sports-related content is extremely entertaining for their target audience, while also promoting the brand as an adrenaline-seeking company. Oftentimes entertaining content is all you need to keep your brand top-of-mind among your target audience. And in Red Bull’s case, energy drinks are a common product that shoppers to impulsively buy.
Samantha Polak, Editorial Intern: A brand that has recently stuck out to me for their content marketing is Under Armour. Their new “I WILL WHAT I WANT” campaign not only reaches out to experienced athletes, but also novice ones. Under Armour’s latest commercialfeatures American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland, who faced initial rejection on her journey to accomplish her dreams. By highlighting underdog success stories, the brand can inspire non-athletes to try something new, reeling in a whole new target audience. On www.IWILLWHATIWANT.com, users can follow successful female athletes, track their own activities through connected devices and network with friends to create an online fitness community. The campaign also includes free workout events in major cities for anyone that wants to begin their fitness journey.