Retailers are reaching out directly to consumers and becoming media companies in their own right, reaping success in their storytailing efforts.
Creating content that is compelling and engaging is a way for brands to both share their stories and showcase their products at the same time. Compelling brand magazines filled with engaging content can create content marketing kings, and those able to find a niche market can see huge boosts in their marketing efforts.
The time for storytailing is here, with many storytailing partnerships emerging as a direct result of the rise of digital commerce. The barriers that traditionally would have made these types of ventures cost-prohibitive e.g. building stores or traditional media expenses such as production and printing, have fallen away. Creating and distributing content is getting cheaper and this notion has not been lost on retailers.
Hence the emergence of branded magazines – ‘owned media’ in the form of online publications, created and produced by brands and their agencies to directly compete with traditional magazines. Like branded blogs, these magazines are made up of long form content, but focused more on delivering valuable content first and promoting products second. Of course, if the content results in a sale, even better.
As the latest step in a major overhaul of its online presence and brand value, Australian online fashion retailer Brands Exclusive publishes a free (to online members) monthly magazine for its customers and brand partners called The Exclusive. The e-zine showcases products with high-detail images and call-to-action links back to product pages on the website, as well as designer profiles and recurring segments for the menswear and homewares ranges.
“We want to share exclusive stories about fashion, beauty, style influencers and trends with our members, and we also wanted to create a place where we can tell our brand partners’ stories in style,” CEO Alexandra Mills told Power Retail in an interview in March. “Brands Exclusive is no longer just a fashion retailer, it’s an exciting fashion experience. And we didn’t feel we could achieve this without creating a new visual home and creating premium content for our members.”