Pottery Barn is More Than Just a Pretty Vase: A Closer Look at a Successful Marketing Strategy

Pottery Barn has some of the freshest content I’ve ever seen. They are constantly coming up with new design ideas to prepare for upcoming seasons and holidays. You can’t help but get excited about what’s to come. They are incredibly consistent with this content across their website, blog, catalog, and all of their social media channels.

Successful navigation of their website immediately reminds the visitor why they wanted to visit in the first place. They consistently show very high quality photographs with impeccable detail and design matching everything they portray in their catalog. Each avenue they utilize helps to maintain their brand.

If a potential customer already knows that they want to visit the Pottery Barn website, they can easily find the URL in a Google search. If, however, someone is interested in furniture and types in a more generic search, Pottery Barn would most likely still show up on the first page of the search. This is possible because of the steps they have taken in their search engine optimization (SEO). They use meta tags and keywords, which help “provide information about a web page for the search engines and website users”.

In addition, they have a built-in Yoast plugin on their blog specifically for SEO for WordPress.

Pottery Barn also makes great use of social media, which helps their search engine optimization tremendously. The more inbound links a website has, the higher their ranking will be in search engines. Much of their social media is leveraged for pull marketing (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and Google+). They have two different blogs. Pottery Barn Baby and PB Kids share a blog and they have the main Pottery Barn blog, Inside & Out. I recently saw a post on Inside & Out titled, The Adorable Pottery Barn Pets of Instagram. They issued a call to action saying, “Want to share your Pottery Barn favorite finds and your favorite pet? Tag your posts with #pbpets and you might just see your Instagram photo on our blog.” Talk about getting people emotionally invested! They just gave them an excuse to show off their four-legged family members AND advertise Pottery Barn merchandise. They are quite successful with their pull marketing, where they draw potential customers in to share their personal information and to engage. In addition to their website and blogs, they also use email signups on their blog (to receive notification of new blog posts), registry signups (for wedding/gift, baby registries, etc.), and email newsletter signups on their website. The email newsletter signup form is in a fixed location but also appears as a pop-up on some of their different pages).

The push marketing techniques they use are very affective. Once they collect your contact information from their website, they push out email newsletters with information on discounts and updates on new products. They regularly mail hard copies of their high-end catalogs to previous customers and those who expressed interest through their website. The banner ads, which appear across a wide range of websites, feature stunning photographs of seasonal products that are well staged. Pottery Barn also has a relationship with other blogs and websites where they share links back to one another. On the Pottery Barn blog, they have a section called “Sites We Love”.

Each site in this section has a link back to Pottery Barn.

It doesn’t matter what type of device you use to visit their blog or website. They are very mobile friendly. As you can see in the following picture, the eye-catching photo takes the center stage. Some brands would be fine to have a mobile site with well-organized links and easy navigation. Pottery Barn is a brand that must do more. Because their photos stand out on every other platform, they have to carry it across to the mobile site as well to maintain brand consistency.

The blog and website show follow buttons for all of their social media. The website includes a link to the blog as well as a Facebook like button. As you can see below, the social media buttons are located at the top of the blog but at the bottom of the website.

http://www.blog.potterybarn.com
http://www.potterybarn.com

The only thing I could possibly recommend that they do to improve their sites from an Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) / branding point of view would be to add more share/like buttons and to make them more visible. They get a little lost at the bottom. Other than that one observation, I can honestly say that Pottery Barn is textbook in their marketing techniques and are well positioned as a brand. They have become a household name and could quite easily be a case study in any marketing class as an example for how to carry out a successful Integrated Marketing Communication strategy.

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