By Joe Pulizzi published April 26, 2012

6 Amazing Retail Content Marketing Examples

In doing some research for a retail-oriented content marketing workshop, I learned one thing: retail content marketing case studies and examples are hard to find.  That said, I was able to find a number of print and digital content marketing examples that impressed me.  Here are six of them.

…and, if you have some you’d like to share, please add them to the comments below.

Lifetime Fitness – Experience Life

Experience Life is the lifestyle print and online magazine developed by Lifetime Fitness, the billion dollar health and fitness company with over 100 centers around the US.  Experience Life is now published 10 times per year and has a circulation of more than 600,000 subscribers (as well as newsstand distribution).  Here is a great article on the evolution of the magazine and how it serves both members and readers to grow the Lifetime Fitness brand.

Zappos – ZN Magazine

ZN is Zappos’ digital magazine dedicated to sharing the latest fashion trends. Over the past few years, Zappos has been moving toward selling more than shoes (as this magazine clearly shows). Kudos to Zappos for integrating compelling stories with reviews, and the ability to purchase directly from the iPad (a great example of content to commerce).

Starbucks – My Starbucks Idea

My favorite example from Starbucks is My Starbucks Idea. Since inception, seemingly hundreds of ideas have been reviewed and implemented on the community site.

LCBO – Food & Drink Magazine

The LCBO, located in Ontario, Canada, is one of the world’s largest buyers of beverage alcohol, with more than 600 retail locations in Canada. Vintages is the LCBO’s member-driven publication specifically targeting wine enthusiasts. The magazine is distributed both through the post and is available online in digital book format.

Patagonia – The Footprint Chronicles

Patagonia, the high-end retailer dedicated to doing no harm to the environment, developed The Footprint Chronicles to show an environmental friendliness report of every textile factory and supplier they work with.  What is great about the blogs and reports is that they detail both the good and bad with each of the suppliers, and what they need to improve upon.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams – At Home Book

Jeni’s, located in Columbus, Ohio (home of Content Marketing World 2012) is one of the fastest growing ice cream brands. Jeni’s developed Jeni’s Splended Ice Creams At Home as a print book in June of 2011. The book has been incredibly successful, garnering reviews from such publications as the Wall Street Journal, helping to accelerate Jeni’s growth internationally. My favorite part?  The book truly does give away Jeni’s secrets to making the best ice cream on the planet…another example of how giving away your secret sauce almost always helps sales.

Want more content marketing examples?  Here are 100 different B2B and B2C content marketing examples from around the world in one handy-dandy ebook.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi

  • Nick Stamoulis

    There is this misconception that content marketing is more of a B2B thing than B2C.  The truth is that every business, no matter what industry, can benefit from distributing quality content to target audience members that will instill trust over time.  

    • Nenad Senić

       Nick, funny you mentioned this. I’ve always seen it more as a B2C thing. 🙂

    • Vikas Singal

      I completely agree with you Nick. Fresh Useful and innovative content always work…. 

  • Becca Seo

    The ideas you’ve shared are fantastic and no doubt so great it may help us improve 
    the variety of individuals visiting your site.

  • Kate Dickman

    One challenge I have experienced has been with videos for content marketing.  While professional “how-to” videos are great for content marketing, I have had a hard time justifying the costs associated with creating those types of videos ($1.5K-$5K) when  I’ve witnessed views for several of them are below 10K (similar to the one above)  While they’re value-adding, they may not be the “viral” type which makes producing them a harder sell internally.  If you work for a more premium brand/company, lower quality videos for distribution may not be an option.  Thoughts? 

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Kate…great points.  Most important is authentic video.  Second most important is consistency.  Blendtec and Gary Vaynerchuck found success from this formula, and the cost of each production was very low as they spent some up front money on a “set”.  I think that is the way to go.  My friends at Openview Venture Partners spent a few k on a nice camera and a sound proof room..

      Viral video happens from consistency, not one video.

      Hope that helps.

  • TBernie Talks Beauty

    In my lecture on Retail Promotion, the Content Marketing example I cite is: Galeries Lafayette hosts annual “Windows on Art” exhibition with 4th edition in 2012, extended to 4 cities. Goal is to “become culture center,” a way of establishing a connection with customers beyond shopping. Through its window displays that provide new opportunities for emerging talents in contemporary design, Galeries Lafayette is continuing its role of bringing creation to a wide audience.
    Reference Links

  • JohnTShea

    Great examples Content marketing is a huge opportunity for retail – here’s my take on why adoption has been slow and the forces that are changing that: