Creating a Lifestyle Brand: Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market is at the forefront of wholesome, local, and sustainable food sources in North America. Within this marketplace, there are only few that compete with the high standard of quality that Whole Foods prides itself in. A strategy that sets Whole Foods Market apart form the rest of the pack is not only do they provide their customers with groceries in a brick and mortar store, but WFM has also created an online community filled with a blog, personal stories, and recipe ideas. All of the content is created specifically for the Whole Foods website and brand with intention of fostering an online community centered on the Whole Foods Market.

The Whole Foods Blog is a collection of published stories and recipes produced by Whole Foods with intentions of supporting everything that the market stands for. By supporting and collaborating with customers to create this blog, people are able to really connect with the brand on a more lifestyle and personal investment level.

The Blog is published daily with new focuses every post. The section that I am going to focus on is the “Daily Dish” portion of the blog. This is published daily… hence the name. It is published through the Whole Foods Market website via a link thought the main menu of the site:

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/daily-dish-thursday-10-22-2015

With Halloween right around the corner, one particular story I want to focus on is about the “Halloween Grab Bag”. With the opening line of “Jeepers creepers!,” the reader is able to instantly recognize what the rest of the article will pertain to. Then the blog does a nice little set up of the story with: “Check out these Halloween-themed stories for a spooktacular edition of our Daily Dish series.”

As an opening segment to the post, there is a fun look into the past of the spirit of Halloween. Provided there is a link from The Atlantic which explains the correlation with candy and tick-or-treating. By providing the readers with a little history of the holiday also helps set up the rest of the piece in order to establish nostalgia with the reader.

The story is then broke down into little subsections labeled “Fruit-o-Lanterns”, “Foodie Costume Ideas” and “Frighteningly Good Food”. All of these categories have fun little story anecdotes to accompany them.

The basis of these stories are fictional in the sense that there are made up scenarios however all the fun ideas and parties that the story suggests are very much relatable to anyone who has every experienced a traditional Halloween season in North America. So yes, while fictional, it can pertain to real life and customers can relate and adopt the new ideas into their everyday lives and holiday traditions.

Comparably to other stores similar to Whole Foods, such as Trader Joe’s and Metropolitan Market, the Whole Foods blog stands out from the rest. Trader Joes goes for a more traditional route on their website. Instead of having a separate page for a blog or editor created content, Trader Joe’s dives into their small stories and recipe ideas directly on the home page. However, there are also ads for products on this page as well as new stores that have recently opened up and any other announcements that Trader Joe’s wants to provide to their customers. Metropolitan Market also generally has the same idea. The Metropolitan Market provides more recipe ideas and videos created for the website more then sharing stories with added bonuses such as recipe ideas and lifestyle brand appeal like the Whole Foods Market brand does.

The overall response to the blog is not overwhelming however they are definitely being noticed by the target market. There are links that have been Tweeted as well as some comments provided by customers in response to the stories and other related links provided. The Whole Foods Market Blog is also supported through the Facebook page for the brand. Hyperlinks are provided on posts as well as images that correlate with what is seen on the blog. Over 1.8 million people “like” the Whole Foods Market Facebook page which then in turn lead those people to the Main page of the Whole Foods website and the blog postings.

What makes the Whole Foods Blog so unique is that it is used to promote not only products and services however it also creates more of a lifestyle brand for the market. By influencing customers with editor created content and highlighting the benefits to the sustainable and wholesome foods movement the brand is doing exactly what it intends to do, connect and share with their customers. People want to be able to connect with the brands and products that they use frequently. We all want to feel like what we are investing in with our time and money and providing to or families is more then just a dinner, we want to create memories and new traditions. The Whole Foods Blog is doing just that by creating content to make everyday more organically awesome then the next.

Visit: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/daily-dish-thursday-10-22-2015

To view the story that was used as a reference for the article above.