How Retailer Lush Is Earning Attention With Its Forum?
Retailer Lush, fresh handmade cosmetics, is earning massive attention with its forum. See how old skool Buzz and WOM can boost loyalty in retail.
EtailTrends performed a benchmark to find out which of the 192 Dutch retail chains created the most buzz online. The study is also fresh: It was conducted in November 2013.
With just 8 stores, Lush is much smaller than The Body Shop, L’Occitane and Rituals, but outperforming them when it comes to earning media attention.
Let’s rediscover the branding and sales power of blogs and forums for retail.
Lush the Queen of Buzz
Thousands of Dutch people have posted over 350.000 messages on the Lush forum, where customers can share their experiences, their opinions and ask their questions. Discounts and vouchers are not part of the buzz strategy.
Since Lush is active in over 30 markets, can you imagine how much buzz e.g. their USA forum is creating?
If you are using big-data, the math may be with you.
I have worked with many large cosmetics and luxury brands. They were all spending gazillion Dollars on traditional advertising.
Lush however, is clearly different in its approach. Their strategy is not leaning on advertising, but focused at earning attention through word-of-mouth and customer loyalty.
I like the fact that Lush is pulling customers gently through its funnel: towards loyalty and advocacy. With these tactics Lush has an edge over other many cosmetic retail brands.
The Lush forum even reminds me of My Starbucks Idea, one of the best long term social marketing programs that is enabling 5 years of inspiring ideas.
The points I am trying to get across?
1. Blogs and forums are very powerful tools in the social media marketing mix when it comes to influencing purchase decisions.
2. Blogs and forums are free, powerful owned media channels for brands with true, not-paid-for fans.
3. Blogs and forums mostly top Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter by far when it comes to brand loyalty.
The great thing about blogs and forums?
Brands do not only earn attention with them, they also build mutual beneficial relationships with true brand ambassadors. The start of a good, long term social CRM program!
Yes Sir, that’s a whole different ballgame than leasing or buying fans on Facebook; The world’s largest lease company.
What About You?
How do you rate the Lush approach? How important are branded blogs or forums in your social marketing? Share your ideas.
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About the Author
Igor Beuker is an acclaimed trendwatcher & pro speaker, serial entrepreneur, marketing consultant and board member at several disruptive media, technology and entertainment firms. Book Igor as keynote speaker, follow Igor on Twitter or contact him via LinkedIn.