I’m sorry, kids. This isn’t an announcement about a ring or a year of deciding what color those stupid centerpieces will be (damn you, Pinterest!). This is the first installment of an ongoing series I will be doing, highlighting some of the best practices in branding and marketing strategies.
There are a lot of companies and organizations out there that do a decent job at reaching their audience, but these brands go above and beyond—demonstrating a clear understanding and meaningful engagement with their audience.
Birchbox certainly thinks out of the box (okay, terrible pun) when it comes to its innovative business model, but they serve as an incredible case study in public relations and outreach to their customers.
If you’re not familiar, Birchbox is a subscription service that, for a mere $10, delivers a box full of high-end beauty and makeup samples to your door every month. It’s that simple. Admittedly, I’ve been a Birchbox user for quite a few months now. I had one of those amazing little packages show up at my apartment time and time again, and was anxious to see what was inside.
When I started hitting the student loans, though, I unsubscribed… until last month. Why? Because I never unsubscribed to their newsletter or Facebook page. Because they consistently posted things that I found to be valuable and exciting. Because that engagement included posts about what had been in those boxes I missed out on. Because I couldn’t bear the thought of missing out on another.
That, my friends, is incredibly powerful.
I know, you may be rolling your eyes at this silly girl gushing about her full-sized Stila eyeliner that came in the mail, but honestly, there is much to learn from Birchbox’s brand and marketing strategy:
- They connect products with experience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a hair or makeup tutorial on their blog, only to have a life-changing experience. Birchbox doesn’t just push their products, they show them in action, and give you relevant information on what can be possible with them.
- They understand the value of a relationship. These lovely ladies never ask for anything without giving in return—even if that’s just the opportunity to win a giveaway. And they do this. Often. With the low level of commitment, why not?
- They rock the visual content. I already mentioned the tutorials, but much of their content either has fantastic photography or video included. Their posts are a visual smorgasbord, perfect for pinning and as energetic and exciting as they would like their audience to be about the products.
- They get personal. Almost all of the staff members have been featured on the blog at one point or another, talking about their favorite products, offering up tips, and generally just being people. It’s easier to start a relationship with someone with a face that clearly wants to help you.
- They listen to their customers. Recently Birchbox decided to increase the number of questions on the survey used to determine what products you get in your box (as it is somewhat customized). They did this because they had gotten substantial feedback, and knew it was important to listen. Their engagement wasn’t only used to blast out the latest product, but to understand their audience and increase value at the same time—that’s smart two-way communication.
I feel as if there are countless other ways I could rave about both the business model and the incredible engagement, but it’s already been done here, here, and here. If you’re a lady looking to get a piece of this incredible beauty pie, definitely use this link to request an invite. Otherwise, just keep an eye on the great work being done by their marketing team. Cheers!