There’s drive-to-web and there’s drive-to-retail. For a handful of smart retailers, a good blog can do both.
Chris Anderson of Wired examines the trend:
We’ve been through lots of experiments in giving companies a human voice, few of them successful. Paid pitchmen and celebrity endorsements. Awkward commercials featuring the aw-shucks CEO. Quirky corporate styles and creation myths. In the end they all feel as manufactured as they are.
But now I’m seeing a new approach that works far better. Some of the smaller companies that I follow are redesigning their websites to put their blog front and center. Not a link to the blog at the bottom of the page, but a front page that is almost all blog, with the products relegated to a sidebar. For lack of a better term, I call them “retail blogs”.
Anderson adds, “Voice builds trust and trust sells stuff.” That’s a quick, but meaningful description of why a brand would want to invest in social media. I think I’ll memorize it.