CORPORATE BLOGGING CASE STUDIES
We interviewed six selected bloggers over the telephone to gain insight into each company's blogging strategies. Specifically we asked questions about each company's efforts towards product development and open transparency. Here are links to the complete case study for each company's blog.
ANNIE'S HOMEGROWN: "BERNIE'S BLOG" CASE STUDY
Mark Berger, web-marketing manager at Annie's Homegrown helped Backbone media to put this case study together.
Annie's Homegrown Weblog:
Annie's Homegrown is an established company who makes natural macaroni and cheese as well as other organic food products. Their blog was started in February 2005, and it is a "character blog" written by their mascot, "Bernie, the Rabbit of Approval".
Some people are skeptical of character blogs, but in the case of Annie's Homegrown, it works quite well. Many of Annie's products appeal to children, and having the bunny "writing" the blog entries can draw children in. Berger explained, "Bernie the Bunny is our mascot and blogs need a single voice, so Bernie was chosen".
For a new blog, Bernie's blog is very successful in terms of receiving comments. It was actually successful right off the bat; they received comments on their very first entry. Right now, there have been 17 entries over the past five months, and 27 blog comments in total. Their blog already has a small community of regular readers who leave comments and feedback.
Bernie's blog is a blend of news in the health food world and talking about different company products. The entries that discuss Annie's products are the entries that receive the most comments. Bernie will talk about different product ideas and future products.
There was a recent entry where Bernie asked his readers to tell him what kind of gluten-free products they wished to see made available. Two customers responded; one wished to see gluten-free pizza and the other did not have any gluten-free ideas but suggested a soy-based macaroni and cheese pizza.
In another post, Bernie talked about the bunny cookies Annie's was planning on launching and asked his readers what they thought about it. That entry received numerous comments from people urging them to make those cookies.
The entries with links to articles and information about healthy eating also get comments and have some interesting facts, but by far the most popular entries are the ones about Annie's products.
In blogs like Annie's, customer feedback can be both useful to the customers and the company. Customers can participate in discussions about Annie's existing products and give input on future products that they want to be produced. Annie's has the opportunity to hear from their customers in an informal way and to understand what their desires are in Annie's products. Annie's has a successful blog for those reasons, and for a relatively new blog, their success with comments is particularly impressive. Based on discussion with bloggers at Annie's Homegrown we are certain their blog will continue drawing in regular customers, especially if they continue to talk about their products.
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