“The long-term goal of our content strategy is for customers to fall in love with our brand and its story,” said Mark Parrott, head of e-commerce, North America, for Lush Cosmetics, at the Demandware XChange conference in Las Vegas earlier today. “We’re looking for lifetime value ahead of the short-term gain of a transaction,” he added.
For Lush Cosmetics, an omnichannel retailer of handmade cosmetic and beauty products, everything the brand does has a story, from its product creation (all prodcuts are handmade in-house) to its ethical buying practices for its sourced materials to its chartitable giving to its ethical campaigns.
To help tell its story, Lush employs a collaborative effort that brings together the talents of many different individuals and teams within its organization. It starts with the company’s full-time content strategist, and branches out to include copywriters, e-commerce team members and designers. Together this group develops the overarching theme that it wants to convey with a content marketing campaign, how the work can be assigned and managed in-house, the distribution strategy once the content is ready, timeline for pushing it live, and measuring the impact of a campaign post-launch. All of these employees are located in one place, and are under the purview of Lush’s direcor of brand communications.
Storytelling is integrated with the product themselves, said Parrott. Lush’s product pages feature content on the product being sold, such as how-to-use videos, information on the product’s ingredients (e.g., the value of having fresh fruit juices in shampoo and what it does for your hair), related articles, social activity and more.
Lush’s content marketing efforts manifest themselves in three forms – blogs, articles and videos. The retailer has a blog engine that can be filtered by recent posts, category of post (e.g., behind-the-scenes, contests, Charity Pot), taxonomy tags, authors and archives. Lush uses video as a means to assist consumers in the buying process with tips on how to best use the product, information on the materials sourced in the product, etc. In fact, Lush has integrated YouTube’s API to offer an extensive video collection on its website.
For a company that buys very little advertising aside from some paid search spend, Lush Cosmetics has successfully spread its brand message through an in-house content marketing strategy. Content is also being used as a means to cross-merchandise and promote the retailer’s products, which in turn helps to drive purchases. Content marketing has a two-pronged benefit of brand-building tool and sales driver for Lush Cosmetics.