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Thoughtful marketing

with Bloom & Wild


Thoughtful marketing puts the customer’s needs front and centre, and through this acknowledgement, it keeps the customer coming back. Sounds simple, but for so many companies, as the demands of starting up and keeping things going take priority, connection with the customer can easily fall to the bottom of the list. The pioneering flower company, Bloom & Wild, is practically a household name now, but it started with what was a completely original idea – bouquets that fit through the letterbox.

The team there has always championed thoughtful marketing, and key to keeping customer relationships fresh, has been identifying the brand’s truth. Bloom & Wild has done this with the campaign #CareWildly. The brand sells flowers, but at the heart of why people send bouquets is because they care. It’s the intangible, emotional element of the product that customers buy into and that’s what keeps them connected to the brand.

Holly spoke to Charlotte Langley, Brand & Communications Director at Bloom & Wild, because while growing quite large and increasing their offering, they’ve managed to stay in touch with what their customer wants. She says that it can be as simple as making time to ask a question via email or social media.

Charlotte calls these ‘pointy’ questions. She recommends asking just one very focused question like, ‘What is the single thing that they love most about your brand?’ or ‘What is the single thing they’d love for you to think more about?’ This gives you tangible feedback which you can act on quickly rather than asking big, broad questions which may be difficult to understand. Keep it simple, you don’t need to create sprawling surveys (which, unless they’re a superfan, may put the customer off anyway).

This is how Bloom & Wild proved their theory that not everyone wants a dozen red roses for Valentine’s Day. They asked the ‘pointy’ question of how people felt about red roses and found that nearly 80% of people would prefer something else on 14th February. This is something that Charlotte says the brand had initially felt a bit scared about, but now they had conclusive evidence, directly from the customer.

The conversation initially came up on Instagram, which Charlotte views as the easiest way to emotionally connect and interact with customers. As a platform, it’s great for imagery which means it’s perfect for sharing inspiration and encouraging people to shop. But what about other social media? Twitter is also good for conversations with customers but is less visual. For Bloom & Wild, they’ve been using this platform to share their customers’ examples of #CaringWildly. Facebook is the one for building your community. Remember that you don’t have to use them all, but they each has its uses and should be used differently (avoid posting the same content across platforms).

The other way that Bloom & Wild has consistently stayed in touch with their customer is through their Customer Delight team, who share their insights with the marketing team. One of these was that a number of customers had asked not to receive emails around Mother’s Day because it was triggering for them. The team realised that something bigger was going on here: not only did they need to offer the ability to opt out of certain emails, but also, there was an opportunity for thoughtful marketing to take hold. And it did – Bloom & Wild created the Thoughtful Marketing Movement, which has its own web page on the site and you can find out more about the community there.

Connecting in a thoughtful way can be fantastically effective. But as Charlotte points out, ‘It’s got to be truthful, it’s got to be authentic, you’ve got to be able to deliver on it if you are going to have an emotional conversation with people.’ It can’t simply be a strapline with no follow-through. By expressing that authenticity, you create greater trust with your core audience who will be repeat customers. Remember that if you have a tight budget, an emotional connection with your key customer nurtures loyalty. Build your business on an ethos that the customer strongly identifies with, and they are buying into all of that too, which means you have an audience that is understanding of the prices you charge. Then you come full circle to those brand ambassadors who spread the good word about your work near and far. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Key takeaways:

1. Make time every week to listen to your customer: Diarise time and find a way to share feedback so that everyone in the business can see it (at Bloom & Wild they use Slack). Read the reviews that were not so great, but also take note of the lovely things people say. It could be as simple as checking through reviews on TrustPilot – and taking action from what you learn.

2. Don’t forget the details: People connect with details like founders’ stories – what was the seed of an idea from which the business grew? For Bloom & Wild, it’s very much about thoughtful details. For example, the stickers on their bouquets that say “Shh…your flowers are sleeping”. Think about your tone of voice, keep it human, speak from the heart.

3. Know who you are: What is it that your business wants to do? For Bloom & Wild, they champion care because they’ve identified that with flower delivery, everything is (or should be) driven by care. Focus on one thing that’s true to you and your number-one customers – you can’t be everything to everyone and shouldn’t try to be. Knowing who you are will attract your super fans.

Brand is the lifeforce of your business

Understanding your brand is fundamental to successful marketing. Holly talks about how your brand sits at the heart of your business and why it should power everything around it.

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