Lands’ End Contest Confirms Strategic Role of Pinterest for Brands

Pinterest of Strategic Interest to BrandsThough most of my time is spent helping companies create and communicate clear and compelling visions to grow their businesses exponentially, my conversations with C-level executives often turn to the topic of social media.

Many executives in the C-Suite are looking for advice regarding which social media outposts, such as Facebook and Twitter, they should consider for their companies and brands. I always start by asking them where their customers and potential customers are currently engaged.

The Rise of Pinterest

It appears there is a new outpost that is capturing the attention of leading brands… Pinterest. The Lands’ End Canvas brand sees Pinterest as, “the intersection of style and social, and…a natural visual platform to showcase the brands’ image and product.”

“This week, Lands’ End Canvas is tapping the visual, style-conscious Pinterest audience to launch an engagement promotion.  The campaign, called “Lands’ End Canvas Pin It to Win It,” encourages users to browse www.landsendcanvas.com and create virtual Lands’ End Canvas pinboards for a chance to win apparel from the modern, vintage-inspired clothing line from Lands’ End,” said Lands’ End’s PR firm, Circle Public Relations

The promotion starts today and runs through December 21. 

I had the opportunity to ask Michele Casper, Director of Public Relations for Lands’ End, a few questions about the strategy behind the promotion:

  1. As a brand, how does Lands’ End Canvas see Pinterest fitting into its social media strategy? Why?

We officially launched the Lands’ End Canvas Pinterest page on November 17, 2011.  We were first introduced to Pinterest by our blog partners who were fans of this new social medium.  Once we joined, we realized images from Lands’ End Canvas were already pinned and circulating.  As a result, we committed to creating and activating a presence to join our current fans and attract new audiences.

This is our first Pinterest contest and we look forward to exploring new and fun ways to engage our fellow pinners in 2012.

  1. Does Lands’ End Canvas envision different customer experiences with the brand in different social media channels?

Absolutely.  Pinterest is a very visual application that fosters inspiration, creativity and design — all relevant to our brand.  In addition, it is a simple way for new customers to be inspired by Lands’ End Canvas and click through to find those products.  Since Pinterest is a visual platform, we’ve found that contest language is better housed elsewhere, such as Facebook.

  1.  What is Lands’ End Canvas objective for its customers in this Pin It to Win It contest?

Lands’ End Canvas is continuously looking for new communication channels and opportunities to introduce new customers to the brand.  The Pin it to Win It contest is a fun way to showcase the lifestyle and relevant appeal of Lands’ End Canvas in a fresh, cutting-edge way.

  1. Lands’ End Canvas seems to be at the leading edge here with Pinterest. What made your team (including executives) confident about engaging customers in this channel

Pinterest is the intersection of style and social and is a natural, visual platform to showcase lifestyle and relevant appeal of Lands’ End Canvas.

  1. What do you want Pin It to Win It customers to experience through this promotion?

First and foremost, we want the Pin It to Win It contest to be a fun, engaging moment with Lands’ End Canvas.  We also hope that it helps participants to discover Lands’ End Canvas, its products and images to inspire their personal style.

Key Strategic Points for Companies

  • Lands’ End Canvas heard about Pinterest, as Michele said, from their blogging partners who had become fans of this new medium.
  • The brand realized their customers and potential customers were already engaging with the brand on Pinterest, and they responded by embracing the activity and looking for ways to participate with them.
  • They are thinking strategically about how they use this channel relative to others, and designing their approach to reflect the lifestyle of customers on Pinterest.

Bottom Line: What are you, as a company or brand, doing to actively seek out ways to engage with your customers in ways that reflect their lifestyle and aspirations? ~

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Comments

  1. I’d love to hear a more detailed explanation of “blogging partners.” Are these in-house corporate bloggers? Third-party (non-Lands End), uncompensated bloggers? Compensated non-corporate bloggers? Blogs on which Lands End advertises?

    Thanks for any insights you have, Lisa!
    Scott Hepburn´s last blog post ..How Would You Define PR?

    • Great question, Scott. I am in the process of trying to get more info for you and will let you know as soon as I do! All the best and thank you for being here and continuing the conversation!

    • Scott,

      Here is the response from Lands’ End Canvas:

      “Our blog partners are third-party resources whom we work together with from time to time on various social media campaigns. Because we enjoy being very active on our social channels and engaging our communities, we have developed a great network of partners that is constantly growing . How we work together varies depending on the type of campaign, level of engagement, goals, etc.”

  2. I suspect this is the kind of full frontal assault that the very style influentials they want to court will hate to see polluting Pinterest – My guess is this won’t do much for them – you really have to infiltrate a network like this more authentically I fear.
    John Jantsch´s last blog post ..How and Why I Still Use Delicious

    • John, I agree, that’s certainly possible. But I love that they listened to their partners and embraced the idea that their customers were engaging in new ways – and actively looked for a fun way to participate with them and reward them at the same time. We’ll see where this goes… I look forward to seeing whether the simplicity of visual design and enticement is enough to create a truly fulfilling social experience on a large scale. Thanks so much for being here and for the comment, I sincerely appreciate it!

    • I think you’re right, John. I give them credit for trying to blaze a trail on emerging platform. Still, don’t you feel like brands are looking for shortcuts more and more? Cash and contests — buy the buzz, rather than building a community of rabid fans.

      I got a call yesterday from a blogger who had been pitched about the Pinterest campaign by Lands End’s PR agency. She was PO’d — felt it was irrelevant to what she blogs about (sound familiar?). She also wanted to know how Land’s End got her contact info and whether Pinterest had shared that information.

      It’ll be interesting to see if other brands jump on this bandwagon. You guys using Pinterest much yourselves?

  3. Henry Motyka says:

    As a job hunter, I consider myself a brand and am selling myself as a brand. I use social media as a blogger, guest blogger, and a netowrker on LinkedIn and Twitter. Potential employers seem particularly interested in my blog.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Lands’ End used Pinterest to create a contest called Pin It To Win It. They challenged people to create their own pin boards with their favorite Lands’ End Canvas products. The winning boards, which will be judged on creativity, composition and style expertise will be qualified to win one of 10 $250 Lands’ End Canvas gift cards. I thought this was pretty cool. Lands’ End gets free promotion of their products by giving their fans a voice and making them feel important. Lisa Petrilli, CEO of a company called C-Level Strategies talks more about this promotion in a recent blog post of hers: read more. [...]

  2. [...] your brand believes Pinterest is a strong strategic platform (uh, that’s why you secured a user name, right?), then you can’t sit back all Field-Of-Dreams [...]

  3. [...] a great job curating boards and reinforcing their brand, only a handful have actively worked to launch campaigns on the [...]

  4. [...] a great job curating boards and reinforcing their brand, only a handful have actively worked to launch campaigns on the [...]

  5. [...] a great job curating boards and reinforcing their brand, only a handful have actively worked to launch campaigns on the [...]

  6. [...] a great job curating boards and reinforcing their brand, only a handful have actively worked to launch campaigns on the platform.Then I stumbled across the campaign put together for Kotex by Smoyz, an agency in [...]

  7. [...] pin boards, a campaign very similar to one run by Land’s End. According to Lauren Indvik of Mashable, Barney’s “encouraged followers [...]

  8. [...] a chance to win items they had posted to their pin boards, a campaign very similar to one run by Land’s End. According to Lauren Indvik of Mashable, Barney’s “encouraged followers of its other social [...]

  9. [...] for companies on Pinterest. Current promotions include pinning a discount coupon for followers, “Pin it to Win it” by pinning certain items to boards to qualify, Prizes for the highest likes or re-pins, photo [...]

  10. [...] for companies on Pinterest. Current promotions include pinning a discount coupon for followers, “Pin it to Win it” by pinning certain items to boards to qualify, Prizes for the highest likes or re-pins, photo [...]

  11. [...] a chance to win items they had posted to their pin boards, a campaign very similar to one run by Land’s End. According to Lauren Indvik of Mashable, Barney’s “encouraged followers of its other social [...]

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