By Jill Ruthenberg
Building brand emotion is one of the most important investments you can make in a brand. So how do you create an emotive brand? Let me introduce you to Pedlars, who have achieved the height of brand emotion: love.
Pedlars is a lifestyle brand that was founded by husband and wife, Charlie and Caroline Gladstone more than 12 years ago. The brand itself incorporates the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, Balbegno Castle and of course, Pedlars, a collection of stores throughout the UK as well as an online store where they sell an array of chic home accessories, gifts, furniture and hand-picked vintage pieces. But to many, Pedlars means so much more than this.
Below is a snippet of the dialogue between Pedlars and consumers on Twitter over the last week or so – the words that are largest are the words most often used:
It’s exciting (but not surprising) to see that when people talk about Pedlars, the word used most often besides their name, is love. And not just a ‘oh that’s cool’ kind of love, but a passionate, “I would give my eye-teeth… for a company like them” kind of love. Their strapline is even, ‘stuff we love that you’ll love too’.
And we do! Customers are increasingly loyal and are can’t help but spread the word:
“I love their down-to-earth aesthetic mix” – Dwell
“I love your shop” – @iloveheartstoo
“@TheGladstones just love ‘dog of the week’ – a must for all A List pooches! Our terrier Tilly been living off the fame ever since appearing!” – @angelathome from Angel Lifestyle
“[Pedlars] have a genuine passion and feel for their goods and their customers, something that is sadly lacking in many places today, but it seems to thrive with them. I like the way they think, I love the products… Do check out both the website and the blog, and see if it takes your fancy.” – lalaweenworld
How did they achieve this – how have they created an emotive brand? The love people feel for Pedlars is a result of the close connections and emotional ties that Charlie and Caroline have enabled and fostered. From the products they sell, to the cheerful customer service, through to their brand messaging, they manifest this love; love of design, love for home, love for family, love of life.
We’ve narrowed it down to:
- Touch points: each access point gives unique quality, yet are always on-brand
- Personality: they live and breathe it
- Community: it’s an inviting niche
Pedlars amplify the brand through brand communications (catalogues, website, their lexicon), and have harnessed Social Media to give the brand genuine personality, and foster a loyal following that continues to grow across platforms. They have multiple touch points that allow their followers to engage with them, be it Twitter (they have two: @thegladstones and @PedlarsDOTW), Facebook, their blog (some of the best photography I’ve ever seen done on an iPhone), and now even youtube, we can get involved in the life of Charlie and Caroline and this wraps value around their all-encompassing lifestyle offer.
The best thing about these touch points, is that they are managed by Charlie and Caroline themselves, who are genuinely cool people.
The unique dialogue between Charlie and Caroline and consumers centers around a powerful combination of interests that they are both so passionate about: family; nature; music; design; culture; home; travel; food; design; shopping.
We get a look into the world of Pedlars; family camping trips, days out, the projects they’re working on, their love of dogs. They share what music they’re listening to (Charlie used to produce – really cool stuff. Check out their Facebook page). They share their dreams with us. The best part is their humour, their love of life and their celebration of it.
They passionately provide more than is expected and welcome you into their inner circle.
Over time, Pedlars has been able to attract a loving community of loyal customers and brand advocates, while maintaining exclusivity. The Pedlars personality is clear and consistent, and not for everybody, which keeps things intimate. Through the multiple touch points, they are enabling and nurturing community and providing both physical and emotional benefits. Now, passionate fans are sharing and building excitement with their friends.
A brand is what a brand does and Pedlars is one of those brands that just gets it, and so they make it easy for us to love them. What are you doing to make sure your brand connects on an emotional level? What emotions does your service, messaging and communications conjure up?