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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