In Brandsplat’s never-ending quest to find great blogging-for-business inspiration, we read a lot of corporate blogs. Blogs from baby food manufacturers, doggy toy retailers, tractor repair experts, Japanese novelty soda pop importers — you name it, we’ve seen it. And yet we still get excited when see a company like West Elm nail the platform with such style and finesse.
The Brooklyn-born furniture company West Elm has been a leader in online marketing and digital branding since its inception in since 2002. Named after the very location of its offices, Front & Main is a company blog that manages to do a heck of a lot more than just shill sofas and throw pillows. When you’re in the business of style and great-looking home accessories, one’s blog had better possess the same qualities… and Front & Main does so in spades. Tantalizing recipes, slick living room makeovers and inspirations from exotic destinations will trick you into thinking you are reading a hip online lifestyle magazine and not some blog from a furniture company.
One recent post featured homes that were once churches while another showed off creative ways to mix patterns in your living room. From the blog categories and the fonts to the photographs and the actual copy, great care has been taken to make Front & Main a pleasurable experience. Sure, the whole point is to show off West Elm’s products and lifestyle, but the push isn’t so literal. Readers are first given a good blog read/experience with the expectation that they’ll fall in love with the brand so they buy more.
Using the company blog to entice and entertain is a big brand trick we can all employ. Yeah, we know times are tough, but maybe said times would be easier if our blogs weren’t so overly anxious to sell, sell, sell. Blogs can be more effective if they create an interesting story that readers want to keep reading. Compelling images, cool how-to features, interviews with industry leaders and eye-catching videos make for easy-to-produce but fun-to-visit supplemental content.
It should be noted that West Elm is certainly not hurting for sales, and with more stores opening up, we think this brand is just beginning its global takeover. Looks like a blog that does big things helps make its company bigger, too.
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