Pottery Barn Knows the Way to My Heart: Integrated Marketing Communication Done Right!

When it comes to Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC), Pottery Barn is doing everything right! The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize that they were so active in the social media world until I really looked into them. I receive their catalog every month and as the seasons change. Their products reflect in the quality photographs and layout of their print catalogs. I love to browse and bookmark the pages every time I receive a new one in the mail. My husband jokes that when he was a bachelor he walked into a Pottery Barn store and said, “I’ll take page seventeen!” We laugh about it because he and his single peers all did the same thing. They didn’t have any clue about design, but Pottery Barn took all of the guessing out of it. They could have a stylish, well-designed home without having to put any effort into the selection process. People are visual and often need you to show them what the possibilities are before they commit to buying something. Walking into one of their retail or outlet stores is like a religious experience for me. I want it all! My absolute favorite time of the year is autumn and they suck me in every time.
On the Pottery Barn LinkedIn page their profile says that they “have over 200 stores, a direct-mail business that distributes over 140 million catalogs a year, and a website that combines ease of shopping with exclusive features. The success of the brand has also led to the launch of Pottery Barn Bed + Bath, Pottery Barn Outdoor Spaces, Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen.”
Pottery Barn has a very clear concept of their voice as a brand. Their character would be best described as friendly, warm, and inspiring with a personal, honest, and humble tone. Their language seems to be savvy and whimsical. Their purpose throughout all forms of their communication is to engage, delight, and sell. They utilize a very creative blog called Inside & Out to engage with their audience in addition to the potterybarn.com website and accounts with Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and Google+. They also send out emails if you subscribe to their mailing list. If you are planning a wedding, chances are you’ve considered adding a few items to a Pottery Barn registry. They make it very clear that their presence is built around inspiring their audience with new design ideas.
While browsing websites like cosmopolitan.com, redbookmag.com, womansday.com, popularmechanics.com, health.com, barnesandnoble.com, and many more, you might see one of their banner ads across the top or along the side enticing you to “Shop Now”.
If you are a big fan of Pottery Barn and care to show off your own home and style, they give you the opportunity to Share Your PB Style! on their blog. Here, you can post up to five images and describe your style. If selected, your Pottery Barn space could be featured on their blog. This feature is wonderful for audience engagement!
By visiting the Pottery Barn Pinterest page, you will see that they created boards from their customers’ pins. The tagline under their name even says, “What we’re seeing & loving right now at Pottery Barn. Follow us to see what’s next.” They are giving credit to customers who showcase their products. It’s a great site and allows their audience to once again see the many possibilities for new style ideas. They also achieve this across all of their other company sites created on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and Google+. Although you see the occasional dissatisfied customer posting on Twitter and Facebook, Pottery Barn always replies to try to remedy the situation. As described in this Mashable article, although Pottery Barn “engages customers best via Facebook, its YouTube channel does a good job of building community online.” Their Instagram page is another place for them to showcase ways in which their customers used their products, while also displaying the Twitter feed related to the customer who posted the photograph. This is a brilliant use of IMC!
Pottery Barn uses YouTube in a few ways. Here, they use YouTube as a reference for customers. While I’ll admit that the video below isn’t sexy, it is useful. Once you buy one of their ledges or shelves, you want it to look as good in your home as it did it in their store or catalog. Otherwise, they fail and you fail. YouTube is also utilized to give background information on the designers’ inspiration during the design process.
 Home Décor: How to Install Ledges and Shelves at Home
In this next video, they showcase a customer’s home featuring beautiful interior design. They have a whole series of these videos.

Where I Live: Interior Design Ideas, with Maryanne Brillhart

Sure you can get similar products for less if you shop around. I make a large purchase every few years or so because I want the Pottery Barn quality. It’s all about the experience and Pottery Barn nails it. They offer many platforms for customers to be inspired, engage, and brag about their personal design ideas. Although I wish I could afford to buy everything in the catalog, I really enjoy looking through it and imagining what my home would be like if I could.

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2 thoughts on “Pottery Barn Knows the Way to My Heart: Integrated Marketing Communication Done Right!

  1. Great post with wonderful examples! Pottery Barn is a great example for this week's assignment. When our friends and family first saw our daughter's nursery, they joked it was like out of a catalog. I pulled out the PBK catalog and showed them what I had copied in my own way (we didn't go with PBK furniture in that room, but I took one of their room ideas and did it myself).

  2. Jaclyn, that is so funny! I love using them for ideas and shopping around. Every so often, we splurge on something from there. I wish I could decorate my whole house from their catalog!

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