Many brands are continuously looking for ways to engage with its audience, including hosting its own official company blogs. These blogs allow the companies to interact with consumers while also controlling the timing and topic of brand messages. With the rising popularity of official blogs, consumers have joined in on the conversation by creating their own “unofficial” company blogs. When searching for unofficial blogs, a wide array can be found and each author decides what they want to focus on.
Target Addict is the unofficial blog for Target and is written by a devoted shopper that claims her obsession with the store is about the Target lifestyle, as well as the products. This blog focuses on all things Target and includes information and reviews on the latest in-store products, such as clothing, shoes, home goods, make up and new product lines that are being introduced. The Target Addict blog also makes it a priority to post links to current Target promotions, coupons, and Internet deals, serving as a one-stop shop for Target consumers. The running theme of the Target Addict blog revolves around providing shoppers with useful information.
Target has several official blogs, but the content in Target Addict is comparable to the official Target Style blog, “On the Dot”, because both focus on informing readers about product reviews and promotions of current items in-store and online. However, it’s fairly easy to tell which one holds the “official” title. The Target Addict uses Target’s iconic red and white colors throughout the site, but appears to be less professional and more pieced together without a cohesive branding element. Target’s “On the Dot” blog is hosted on Tumblr and is more aesthetically pleasing and professionally designed with pure Target branding elements. Besides the layout and branding on the blogs, one noticeable difference is that the official blog focuses more on incorporating retail industry trends, while the unofficial blog relies on providing her personal recommendations and opinions about the products she reviews.
The information from the Target Addict blog that could be useful to the official company blog is what consumers truly think about the products and promotions offered at Target. Target could take the reviews and comments that are posted on the unofficial blog and incorporate them to add a more human element to the brand. I think it would be beneficial if the official blog allowed Target Addict to have guest posts so that way it has consumer and branded content at once. The author of the unofficial blog has announced how much she loves the brand, so Target would only be promoting its brand more by making its shoppers aware of the unofficial blog. According to Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report, blogs are playing a large role in consumers purchase decisions. The report even stated that blogs and influencers rank high with consumers for trust, popularity and influence. (Technorati, 2013). I think seeing all of the promotions and positive things about Target could easily influence someone to remain a loyal customer or even begin to shop there.
Here is a sample from the blog:
I’m a pretty devoted Target shopper, but I wasn’t aware that items sold only online were automatically discounted and put back on the sales floor when returned. I liked how she explained how the discount worked and also provided her own review of the quality of the product for those still considering purchasing it online. This is the kind of information consumers are looking for and is just one example of how the Target Addict can add value to the Target brand. I will be checking Target Addict more frequently now to keep up-to-date on all things Target.
Does you rely on an unofficial blog for information? Does that blog influence your purchase behaviors in any way?