Recognizing the customers’ ultimate objective isn’t to buy pots and pans but to become better cooks, Williams-Sonoma elevated the role of customer media and content, making it a part of the brand’s core mission. 

At Hammock, we’re fans of the retailer Williams-Sonoma; not just for the products they sell, but for the way in which they’ve stopped viewing the creation of customer media and content as merely a part of their marketing strategy, but how they’ve made it one of the foundations on which they are growing their company. They’ve even made it a part of their mission statement

“The mission of (Williams-Sonoma) is to be the leader

in cooking and entertaining by delivering great products,

world class service and engaging content.”

If you’re one of those people who yearn to become a better cook or home entertainer, chances are, you’re a customer of Williams-Sonoma. You have watched their retail locations transform into bright, welcoming shops that support and encourage a constant flow of learning and sharing opportunities. And you’ve seen their direct marketing strategy evolve from catalogs jammed with individual product photos into beautiful photo spreads designed with such detail that you’re enticed to take the time to enjoy it, making sure you see everything, on every page.

By making the delivery of engaging content a part of their mission statement and not just part of their marketing plan, Williams-Sonoma has even spawned a wide variety of branded media products and events ranging from cookbooks to cooking schools to online tutorials and even a kitchen-hardened iPad stand and speaker system.

How your organization can use this idea. 

  • Provide learning opportunities that help customers get the maximum value from your products and services.
  • Don’t limit your use of media, events and experiences to promotional marketing or, worse, something you do merely to earn “likes” or “follows.” Use such media and content to build long-term customer relationships that focus on shared passions and knowledge.
  • Does your organization serve an audience in search of training for professional advancement or personal passions? If so, “delivering engaging content,” should be considered as important as the products you sell and the services you provide.

Learn more: On another Hammock Blog post, we’ve collected some examples of our favorite ways Williams-Sonoma uses customer media and content to inspire, teach and support those who continuously seek to become better cooks and entertainers.

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