Archive for ‘Storytelling’

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

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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

July 21, 2013

Five Lions!

Good year for branded content at Cannes. Not only did it get its own category (sign of legitimacy?)–Dumb Ways to Die, one of the best examples of it in years took five lions.

http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/dumb-ways-to-die-the-campaign-case-study-video/

July 21, 2013

This is why

a trip to Walt Disney World should be a legit biz expense for creative communications/content types…because they do what everyone wants to do better than anyone does. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amanda-feinberg/content-marketing-disney_b_3563404.html

April 28, 2013

And you are?

How much does your title define you?

I was thinking about that while reading the Content Marketing Institute’s CCO magazine — for Chief Content Officers. Great publication–but it made me ponder if a one-woman creative content company with a tiny, but solid and growing client list, really needs C-suite titles. I’m thinking no. I’ve worked for design firms and agencies so small we didn’t put titles on our biz cards; that way we could assume any role in a meeting or proposal that was required. Recently in a meeting, I heard a fairly senior executive refer to the very visible and highly placed head of his corporation as “Grand Poobah.”  I’m betting he doesn’t call him that to his face.

During the heady new days of the dot coms, all sorts of strange and quite wonderful titles began appearing–Chief Humour Officer, Director of Originality, Brainy Guy (that was my title at a hip agency I wrote for because I was the only one who could decipher what the new tech clients were actually trying to sell), Corporate Jester–but when the VC money dried up, so did the cute monikers. I guess I could call myself Chief Content Diva or The Goddess of Words, but those titles aren’t really on brand — and just a tad too fey for me. Word Grower? Brand Story Gardener? Copy Pruner (that would be for editing, I guess). Nope, too cute and they’d all require additional explanations–clients are busy people, no need to burden them with something else to figure out. The bank likes me to be “president” so I can be responsible for the money, but I prefer “senior writer” (and the “senior” part comes from doing this job for more than a quarter century, not because I have a few “juniors” on staff).

So what’s your title? Does it bear any relationship to what you actually do? Like it or not, we are what we are called. That’s why it’s always better to name yourself. If you could make up your own title, what would it be?

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!

April 2, 2013

I want the poster-sized version

Love this infographic from Joe Pulizzi and the Content Marketing Institute depicting that content marketing isn’t new at all. But we do seem to be in the Golden Age.

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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/

February 24, 2013

Education or entertainment? Telling the brand stories your audience wants

In advance of a Content Marketing World conference to be held soon in Sydney Australia, Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi spoke with Australia’s Marketing magazine and offered what has to be the simplest, clearest definition of content marketing I’ve ever seen.

“The easier way to think about it is instead of telling my customers I’m great, I’m going to show them I’m great because I’m going to teach them or I’m going to entertain them.”

Content marketing/branded content advice always circles back to the idea of storytelling—but doesn’t always approach it from the point of view of the audience. Yes, your company, your brand has a story to tell—but it has to be told in a way that is meaningful, compelling or best of all, useful to the audience you want to reach. That’s essential. And Mr. P. managed to sum it up perfectly