Pottery Barn does an exceptional job of delivering a consistent brand image across multiple platforms, including but not limited to: mobile devices, iPads and tablets, laptops and desktops and even print mediums such as their magazines and even their store displays. Not only does this remain consistent on various devices and marketing materials, but also on their social media channels where they maintain a clean, consistent (and even seasonal) look across the board. By implementing “message integration across all marketing channels” and maintaining a consistent brand personality, Pottery Barn is successful at creating both ubiquity and synergy, as discussed in lecture (Young, 2010).
Pottery Barns multimedia communications success begins with their immediate prompt to sign up for email newsletters and discounts upon visiting their website. In addition to asking users to opt-in for their newsletters, deals and decor advice, they also leverage the use of multiple social media platforms to spread consistent content among many user. Pottery Barn’s Tumblr account is just one of the mediums they utilize.
Pottery Barn also offers multiple other platforms for engagement, all of which seem fitting for a home decor brand. Pottery Barn participates in both Pinterest and Instagram, both social sites that allow for image sharing. While I believe Pottery Barn’s Pinterest is more conducive with their products than their Instagram account, I believe both produce a clean look and have a strong number of followers (over 115,000 on Instagram and almost twice as many on Pinterest – over 231,000). Not only are the posts on Pinterest more consistent with their brand, but it appears to contain more beneficial links to home decor advice articles, some of which come directly from the Pottery Barn website and/or blog.
Pottery Barn maintains two blogs: “Inside & Out” which is geared more toward home decor, as well as “Have and Hold” which includes posts related to weddings and gift registry. While the tie to weddings and home decor didn’t hit me initially, being a former Pottery Barn wedding registrant and creating a “home” with my now husband, I fully understand why they would produce such content.
Like many businesses that are active on social media, Pottery Barn has an exceptional Facebook presence with over 1.4 million likes. The images and messaging Pottery Barn produces are of the same clean imagery and polite voice as their other outlets. Although many users have used Facebook as an outlet for their complaints, Pottery Barn has done an exceptional job of replying in a timely fashion and converting them from unsatisfied customers to satisfied shoppers and social media enthusiasts. In fact, the Social Media team at Pottery Barn has been so successful that some customers, such as Dennis Jenders, have taken the time to write a full blog post about their sour experience turned sweet. Mashable.com also shared a Pottery Barn customer’s experience as one of their top 3 Examples of Stellar Social Media Customer Service.
While Pottery Barn has a significant Twitter presence with over 51,600 followers, they appear to be less engaged with their customers than they are through Facebook and tend to converse more with businesses (i.e. @SherwinWilliams). They do however maintain the same brand image and are active, but I would not consider this their most beneficial social media channel (from a consumer standpoint).
Again Pottery Barn maintains their consistency on Google+ in regards to brand image and posts similar content to what they share on Facebook. While the amount and quality of content being generated is similar, I believe that Pottery Barn is not at fault for the lack of engagement, but is simply feeling the same results as many other companies, in that Google+ does not have as many active users as Facebook currently does and therefore has less opportunity to engage.
Lastly, Pottery Barn uses YouTube to it’s fullest potential and appears to have been doing so for quite some time. With over 7 million video views since the channels creation in June of 2006, Pottery Barn appears to have got it right by offering tons of professional design advice in well put together, concise videos – so great, I spent more time watching them for this project than I intended.
Pottery Barn’s integrated marketing and brand consistency strengthens the audience’s level of brand recall, sets them apart from competitors by eliminating any level of confusion with other home decor brands while also maintaining their individual identity and professionalism as a top-notch brand (Garafola, 2014). In conclusion, Pottery Barn’s social media success can be attributed to the fact that they are almost everywhere, they maintain brand personality, produce fresh content and most importantly, engage with their customers.
Young, A. (2010). A Shift From Media Planning to Communications Planning. Brand Media Strategy: Integrated Communications Planning in the Digital Era (pp.49-64). Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/ibooks/.
Garafola, C. (2014). Importance of Brand Consistency in Social Media. Retrieved on May 30, 2014 from http://mittcom.com/importanceof-brandconsistencyinsocialmedia/.