Content Brand of the Week: John Lewis – the high street retailer that’s stocked up on all things content

I can feel myself getting teary already…

Nostalgic TV adverts with wistful acoustic versions of classic songs might be their stock-in-trade, but John Lewis has a whole range of interesting content in its store cupboard. In fact, at the recent Drum Marketing Awards, John Lewis’ Marketing Director Craig Inglis said “we sort of regard ourselves as a publisher actually – I find that really exciting”.

Do publishers normally sell sofas?

I don’t think he meant it quite so literally. It’s a roundabout way of saying John Lewis is committed to producing quality content that people will find useful and engaging. It implies John Lewis views content production as an essential part of its business.


And how’s that working out?

Very well actually. They produce engaging content for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest – virtually every content delivery platform you can think of.

I did see one of their posters at Kings Cross last week…

Not that kind of platform. Most importantly, everything they produce stays true to their brand values, providing a consistent experience. Each channel has a purpose too –  its Facebook and Twitter is used for tasks like promoting competitions to win personalised John Lewis bags,  celebrating the retailer’s 150th anniversary with photos collages from the 1950s-1990s and giving first looks at its ever popular television adverts. The John Lewis YouTube channel post video guides on everything from how to choose the perfect camera, to how to wear clashing florals.



Florals? Fab – they’re so in right now

Indeed. More importantly, it’s nice to see a brand that uses each channel differently, rather than posting the same content everywhere. Its recent blogger outreach campaign is a great example of how effective content can be when different channels are blended together too.  John Lewis invited a group of bloggers to create their own look from its new clothing rails, as part of their ‘Edit’ – a series of selected products from its ranges, based on current trends.

The bloggers were tasked with creating their own looks from the range and were photographed by professional photographers wearing what they picked out.


Nice work if you can get it.

Yes, some nice benefits there for the bloggers – and a fair bit of exposure – while, in return, John Lewis develop its network of ambassadors in the fashion blogosphere. It also secured some great visual assets for social feeds. All the bloggers published blog posts detailing their experience too, with links back to the John Lewis Fashion Edit page. The only way to see the whole collection, or find all the other bloggers who participated is to follow that link. It’s a textbook example of how powerful PR, social media and content marketing can be when they’re used in sync.

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