Case Study #1: Alabama Chanin

 

http://alabamachanin.com/

Hannah Jones

Name of business:

Alabama Chanin

Alabama Chanin is a lifestyle company that produces items for the home and clothing that are made in the USA with organic materials.  All of the clothing is hand-sewn by artisans in the US and made to fit the customer.  They also offer DIY kits so people can sew their own pieces and workshops at their studio in Florence, Alabama.

Target Audience:

The target audience of Alabama Chanin is wealthy consumers concerned with the use of organic materials and American labor.  Most of the items for purchase have a high price tag, but the brand emphasizes their use of American artisans and organic products.

Content:

Alabama Chanin hosts a variety of content on their blog.  They do a weekly newsletter called The Factory, and another newsletter at the beginning of each month.  The monthly newsletter details what different events and new releases will happen over that month for the brand.  The weekly newsletter gives a detailed account of store hours, tours, and the café menu.  They also feature a “swatch of the month,” in which they explain how to sew the details on the fabric swatch from their book.

The blog, which they call Journal, also contains posts in which they introduce new products and explain in-depth why they chose to make this product and what makes it special.

They also feature posts that elaborate on where the materials for their clothing and other products come from.  They’ve done extensive journals about Alabama cotton and different fabrics they use.

There is an original photo to accompany every blog post.  The blog itself is very black-and-white and organized.  The pictures add a lot of color, and stand out against the background of the blog.

They’ll do posts about artists, organic items, and books.  There is a section on the blog dedicated to books and products that the brand recommends.

The blog features different categories on the side of the page including:

  • Beautiful Life
  • DIY + Sewing
  • In the Kitchen
  • Makeshift
  • Sustainable Life + Design
  • The Factory
  • The Heart
  • Travel + Other News

How often the blog is updated:

The blog is updated very frequently, nearly every day, with a variety of different content.  Rarely will one see two similar posts back-to-back.

Story it tells:

Alabama Chanin uses their blog to portray their brand as eco-friendly, natural, and home based.  They value materials that are from the US, specifically Alabama.  They also show profiles of the artisans that craft their products in an effort to make the brand more relatable.

The blog is very catered to the lifestyle of their customers.  Not every post talks about the products they offer.  They write about artists who take a similar view on DIY as they do, and fruits and vegetables that are grown in the US.

These posts don’t directly talk about their product, but do remind the reader of how whatever they are writing about in the post relates back to their product.  While they may not be advertising in everything they write on the blog, every post contains some form of endorsing their product.

I believe that nearly every post on the blog is successful at brand journalism and content marketing.  They shape the reader’s image of their brand, while also showing the reader the benefits of their products.

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