What makes a successful corporate fashion blog?

A press release came my way last week applauding the success of Oasis-Stores.com whose blog has been named Digital Publishing Solution of the Year by the Association of Publishing Agencies (APA).

First, the blurb:
Post-advertising agency, Story introduced the blog as part of an overall refresh of the Oasis website. Having designed and built the blog, Story handed control to Oasis’ store workers who contribute regular posts to it. Following its launch, Oasis has found that the sales conversion rate for people reading the blog is 17% higher than for people visiting other areas of the site. Story’s brand strategist, Martin Harrison said, “The success of the Oasis blog is a reminder of how important it is to understand your customers. Our research told us that Oasis shoppers appreciate some hand-holding and they actively seek advice and ideas. By building a blog full of interesting stories and useful fashion tips, we were able to give these customers exactly what they want – and help Oasis to build invaluable brand loyalty in the process.”

So have a look at the blog. What do you think?

My feeling is that it’s certainly better than a lot of corporate blogs. For starters, it’s updated regularly and I like how they use input from Oasis’ own staff – particularly buyers and designers – and agree that this does give the customer added value. It’s clever how they link to items that you can buy on the website and to be honest, I really don’t know why more stores don’t have blogs purely so they can do this.

One criticism is that there is no facility for readers to leave comments. If you look at the ASOS blog, it enables comments and ASOS quite often replies to comments and queries which to me is an absolute essential in a corporate blog. Surely it’s all about engaging with your customers and getting them on side? Maybe I’m nit-picking but what would make the Oasis blog even better is if it was well written. It’s not badly written, just a bit lacking in personality.

Matches has also recently introduced a blog and it has much more of a ‘character’ to it. Is it because Matches is more high end? Does mainstream have to mean bland? I don’t think so. Perhaps it’s because the Matches blog is written by one person so has more consistency. There is a mix of personal observations, how-to-wear-it styling tips and cute behind-the-scenes reporting (check out this post on Georgie and Kessy Edewor-Thorley, the Matches ‘dolls’ who work in the Matches stores and have the most enviable wardrobes). And there are comments.

I think it’s time all corporate fashion sites had blogs and I don’t mean token blogs with the odd post here and there. A real blog with decent content, daily updates, feedback from customers and a hefty dose of pizzazz is what would make me keep returning to a blog and possibly even buy something. Don’t you agree?

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8 Responses to What makes a successful corporate fashion blog?

  1. WendyB says:

    None of these blogs has enough cursing in it. Fail.

  2. ...love Maegan says:

    I like the look of it but I don’t really like that every link goes back to their store …I mean, it’s smart but boring. But it has a super high ranking so it must be doing something right! Thanks :)

  3. discothequechic says:

    those matches images are enough to have my swiftly clicking away!

    have a great christmas.


  4. pretty face says:

    Wendy’s right. I always feel like I’m being cheated when reading corporate blogs, because it feels like one big advertisement. Fair enough to promote your wares IN your blog (and I can think of a couple in particular which do this very well…), but to have a blog which does nothing else would frankly be bland.

  5. enc says:

    I do agree, but I still don’t know if I’d ever read one. I haven’t yet.

  6. Ceri says:

    Great post. I agree that a successful corporate fashion blog needs to offer something more than just marketing of products. Perhaps some inspiration or style advice and also needs to be a bit different to the hundreds of other fashion blogs out there. I think the Oasis one does this by having different perspectives of buyers etc.

    There are so many fashion blogs out there, I think the corporate fashion blogs need to stand out as something special to be successful. However if they bring in sales that makes them sucessful even if they don’t have a big following of readers.

    Your post has inspired me to write my own post on the subject http://www.online-fashion-marketing.com/2008/12/what-makes-successful-corporate-fashion.html

  7. miss cavendish says:

    I checked out Liberty’s blog because I’m generally infatuated with the store and hoped there’d be some sort of insider scoop, like the word on how those gorgeous Ianthe bags are designed, some Liberty history, etc. But it too is mostly an advert . . .

  8. prom 2010 says:

    all i can say is that Liberty's blog is much more focused on the store and it is kinda boring. i hope they add some feature sharing some scope, news, trivia and things like that about fashion.

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