Archive for ‘Copywriting’

September 17, 2013

Case study: Randall’s Décor

Renovating a brand with “distinction” 

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Randall’s is an established paint and home décor retail chain with a long history and an excellent reputable history in the Ottawa and Eastern Ontario regions. However, for the stores to remain viable and able to compete with the many big box home improvement chains now in the area, there was a need to reach a new generation of homeowners, including those who had no renovation skills or lacked confidence to try DIY projects. A brand audit demonstrated that Randall’s most valuable brand attributes were their knowledge, experience and credibility, qualities beginners value most.

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Armed with the need to demonstrate that Randall’s was “not your father’s paint and décor store”—and influenced by the popularity of shelter magazines and various DIY and home improvement TV channels and websites, seed president Joy Parks was tasked by greennmelon design inc, Randall’s communications firm, to build on their valuable knowledge and product authority with a branded content publication. This “magalogue” that would announce the new style and voice of their brand—a breezy, easy voice that invited readers to try their hand at home improvement—knowing they’d have the support of Randall’s experience and know-how behind them.

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The content asked readers to trust in Randall’s traditions and knowledge, but use that information to express their personality using their home as a canvas.  The goal was to deliver in the distinctions publication, a series of branded content articles that would be comparable to newsstand shelter publications—but based on Randall’s products, knowledge and overall offering.

According to greenmelon creative director Robert Smith, “When our client Randall’s, a local home décor chain, approached us to do a magazine, I immediately spoke to Joy. There was no one else that I would trust with such an important branding vehicle. Her talent for understanding an audience, and delivering compelling and pertinent content shone in this piece. The final product is something that I display proudly in the portfolio.”

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The client was extremely happy with the inaugural issue, and threw a launch party that included the mayor of the city of Ottawa as a guest. The publication continues to be available in stores and as an e-publication on the retailer’s website.

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Download the full issue of randalls_webmagazine

Download this case study as a pdf  Randalls Case Study

See more seed case studies.

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September 10, 2013

Case study: Costco Canada Catalogue Content

Smart, targeted content that delivers brand personality

costcohome

Dealing with intelligent, savvy clients with a clear vision of the audience they’re trying to reach results in great work. While a stroll through their mega-sized stores gives the impression that there’s something for everyone at Costco, this smart retailer does target several market segments, including secondary and tertiary audiences of newly marrieds, young male technology buffs and small business owners. Still their primary target is she who has the most retail clout, the maturing Gen X or Baby Boom female shopper.

According to experts like Carol Orsborn, co-author of Boom: Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer, the Baby Boomer Woman, this group of female consumers controls 80% to 85% of purchases for the home—and is far more likely to own or be involved with a small or home business than other target markets. Reaching the mature female consumer is essential to successful large-scale retail like that of Costco.

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Following the creation of a branding guide to be used by internal marketing staff, seed president Joy Parks was charged with creating the “story” content for the retailer’s annual catalogue. While much of the piece is product driven, a decision had been made to use the front-of-book sections that provide information on membership and overall offerings, as well as department introduction pages, to provide the audience with a taste of the Costco brand personality. The information pages were written in a conversational, welcoming and helpful tone. Out of several options provided, Costco choose the “My Costco” theme for the introduction pages as a means offering shoppers a sense of ownership in the store and to reinforce loyalty. As is the case with effective content, these pages of emotion-driven copy were more about the audience’s needs than Costco’s offering.

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The content provided for the catalogue has been used for several years running, refreshed with new photography. The main client contact, Shannon Ambrose, Director of Marketing at Costco Canada, satisfied with the results, has assigned other work. She also notes that, “After taking the time to get to know our business and our project, Joy crafted texts that not only captured the message we were looking for, but she did so in a timely manner, meeting deadlines, and going over and above to get the tone of the piece perfect. “

To see more of the catalogue content, click on the links below.

http://seedcreativecontent.com/entries/branded-content/2011-costco-catalogue

http://seedcreativecontent.com/entries/consumer/costco-catalogue-pages

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Download a PDF of this case study.

Costco Case Study

September 5, 2013

Case study: greenmelon inc. product site

Fictional storytelling: A “novel” approach to branded content

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When greenmelon inc. was first established, its primary focus was on product design, mainly lighting fixtures, furniture and household hard goods. Thing is, when small firms design products, they seldom have the financial support to actually produce the product—it’s generally easier, less risky and more lucrative to simply sell the design to a manufacturer or large chain, and let them take over the production and distribution.

Greenmelon creative director Robert Smith’s background lay in graphic design—and he had won many packaging gigs—so the company offered a holistic approach to product design—not just the product itself, but also the positioning, communications and packaging that went along with it.

Since the product didn’t exist beyond Robert’s imagination, the wonder of Photoshop and some technical drawings—there was only one way to get the product ideas across. Tell a good story. That’s exactly what Joy Parks, owner, senior writer and creative director of seed, did.

There was a simplicity and great deal of wit to the products developed by greenmelon—and that tone was central to the content on the website. Beginning with the understated “we’re greenmelon and we design things” tagline (which continues to appear on www.greenmeloninc.com, also written in large part by seed president Joy Parks), the site not only featured brief descriptions of the products—but also fictional stories of end-user customers who had bought the product. The short stories explained who the potential customer was, why they bought the product and how they were using it. These fictions not only outlined details about the product but also allowed potential licensees to glimpse their potential market. And they did so with wit, humour and down-to-earth simplicity.

According to President and Creative Director of greenmelon Inc., “I always infuse an element of wit and whimsy into my product design so it was imperative that the website articulate that. I chose to work with Joy from the very beginning of the project because the site required more than just words. It needed personality. It needed to tell a story. There was no one else that I would trust with a project of this scope. The results were simply, poetic. Joy was much more than a writer, she was a collaborator and the site would not have been the overwhelming success it was without her involvement.”

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The site got rave reviews from just about everyone who visited it and was, quite frankly, like catnip for young designers looking for a place to work. While greenmelon later shifted its focus to graphic design, this initial website showcased both the company’s innovative designs and creative approach to marketing them, established their “fresh” brand and proved the power of storytelling.

For more examples of greenmelon’s website, please go to:

http://seedcreativecontent.com/entries/retail/greenmelon-product-website

http://seedcreativecontent.com/entries/corporate-non-profit/greenmelon-inc-website

Download a PDF of this case study Greenmelon Inc

 
April 20, 2013

If only…

12 Roles Essential to the Future of Content Marketing

If this much focus is ever put on content marketing and communicating with clients — just imagine the job market for writers and other creative talents. It boogles the mind!

March 31, 2013

Talk about a compelling headline!

The promise of writing content for internal audiences that will actually get read.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3007591/how-write-content-your-company-people-actually-want-read

March 18, 2013

Creativity is back in the spotlight.

Which makes advertising fun again. You remember fun, don’t you?

http://www.webinknow.com/2013/03/the-good-times-are-back-and-marketing-is-fun-again.html

February 27, 2013

Content marketing has haters? Seriously?

Wasn’t aware until now that content marketing had haters (really folks, you can’t come up with anything else more deserving of your contempt?). But I love the way Velocity Partners’ Doug Kessler goes on the defensive with “Why the content marketing backlash is getting it wrong.”

http://www.velocitypartners.co.uk/our-blog/the-content-marketing-backlash-is-getting-it-wrong/

January 3, 2013

Three (more) reasons why I’m feeling good about 2013

 “3 Reasons Why Content Creators Will Thrive in 2013, found on the Atomic Reach blog, is the most recent of several “what’s to come in 2013” articles I’ve read that focuses on how companies will continue to grow in the understanding of the value of using branded content and social media to solidify brand awareness and loyal and put the right message in front of the right audience. This article in particular emphasis the importance of the role of the writer in this movement — and the value effective writing will bring as marketing strategies shiff focus from traditional advertising to a marcom-journalism hybrid.

Like the story so much, I’ll even forgive them beginning a title with a numeral. Shudder.

December 19, 2012

It’s about time!

In this month’s Inc. magazine, one of the 2013 trends stories is titled “Ads Will Be Articles & Vice Versa.” While big business seems to be picking up on the value of branded content, thanks to work by companies like Amex and P&G, it’s good to see advice on content marketing directed at the smaller, entrepreneurial companies Inc. serves.

It’s particularly good news for people with a background in both copywriting and journalism.

People like me.

Here’s the link…http://www.inc.com/magazine/201212/adam-bluestein/ads-will-be-articles.html