Insights into Corporate Blogs: MEC, Gaiam, HGTV Design
Mountain Equipment Co-op is Canada’s leading retailer of outdoor clothing and gear for sports like hiking, cycling, and climbing. MEC is a true co-op, where shoppers are also members who have a say in how the business evolves, and MEC profits support community-based outdoor and environmental initiatives.
MEC’s commitment to community is reflected in its posts on community contributions, reports from MEC’s field-test team, personal journals from participants in races and competitions, and expeditions. The blog reflects the lifestyle of MEC members and supports them in their endeavors. It’s a great resource for ideas, inspiration, and advice (such as this post on fitting and maintaining a bike). The MEC blog is an excellent place for outdoor enthusiasts to learn about equipment and gear without a hard sell.
Gaiam is a lifestyle brand that focuses on offering goods and services to people who value the environment, sustainability, a healthy lifestyle, alternative healthcare, and personal development. The Gaiam blog, called Stream of Consciousness, is the company’s official blog, but it doesn’t have a corporate voice. Instead, it features experts and enthusiasts who share experiences on living greener, getting healthier, and living a more fulfilling life. The range of experts is broad, from life coaches like Arielle Ford to renowned yogis such as Rodney Yee.
Stream of Consciousness is tightly woven into the Gaiam Life website, expanding the amount of available information exponentially. This blog is a great of example of extending a brand into a community in a way that connects with and supports that community.
HGTV (Home and Garden Television) is a cable TV channel with shows on all aspects of home improvement, decorating, and outdoor design that brings design to the personal level through its blog, Design Happens. The blog is jam-packed with content and tightly integrated with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to make sharing posts fast and simple.
People who love design generally love to get their hands dirty creating inspired items. The Design Happens blog has tons of how-to posts on beautiful gifts and home decor items. Design Happens also features posts where HGTV design specialists blog about their own particular style. And, of course, because this is a blog about design, the photography is spectacular. The blog demonstrates skillful use of content marketing, as it complements the HGTV shows by extending each show’s reach and providing a place for fans to learn more about design.