How to grow your brand’s audience

We have Mark Masters from the ID Group on the show as we talk about how brands are growing and maintaining their audience. We also talk about Mark’s passion for AFC Bournemouth, the genius behind the Farrow & Ball blog, the Chromologist and the future of the Content Marketing Institute.

Listen to the full show and read below for a preview of Mark’s insights.  

The following is an excerpt from the Brand Storytelling podcast. Available on iTunes, Soundcloud, and selected Android apps


Rakhal Ebeli: I want to talk about another case study, Farrow and Ball. Could you tell our Australian listeners in particular about that brand, and what they’re doing with creative content to grow an audience, and keep it.

Mark Masters: It’s probably something that many of you haven’t heard of. Farrow and Ball are one of a better word, a paint company. There supply paint and wallpaper, but they’ve been doing it since the end of the war since 1946. What they’ve done is focus on a blog, They had been looking to say right, let’s do a blog, back in 2014, let’s do a blog, how are we going to do this? There was a chap called Rob Murray who works for Farrow and Ball and said, all right, if we start to do a blog about Farrow and Ball it’s going to end up talking about paint. Why don’t we do something a little bit different? We’re starting to see this more now, where brands are creating up separate spaces that relate to different aspects, for something that they believe in, so this is what they did. Rather than talk about paint and wallpaper they have created a separate site, so have a look at this.

It’s called The Chromologist. What the Chromologist is, they want to now own color. This is the really interesting thing, and this comes back to content, it comes back to consistency, and it comes to be that idea. The Chromologist, what it means is someone who interprets color. Rather than being a brand that says right, let’s kind of blog and let’s look at things that come into [the] paint. What they did was say right, let’s set up a separate site that looks at owning color. What they’ve done is say we’re going to document color. You look at their website. They now team up with bloggers. This is a beautiful example of an owned media approach. They’ve been covering what’s been happening in the Milan design week, London fashion week, and what they’re starting to do now is ongoing content related to color. You will not see the Farrow and Ball logo everywhere, all you’re going to see is at the footer on the website. They are now taking, as I said, this owned media approach by finding the right people to work with.

Even down here we got this huge brand down here that’s Lush, huge cosmetic company, origins that are [a] international company that’s down here. They too have very openly said, we are going to be taking an owned media approach to all this stuff. What this allows, by saying we’re going to talk about color, opens a whole road in front of them to look at so many different areas and how to paint a door, right through to showcasing how sunsets look and using Instagram to show just the world around us.

Rakhal: I was going to say travel when you’re talking about the holy festival in India, it just completely opens that funnel for communication and invites the whole world into a topic that, as you said, could be pretty, for one of a better word, plain.

Yet they’ve been able to bring in the world of color. I love that example. What does this tell us in a nutshell about being creative with content and succinctly Mark, what steps could our listeners take to follow that?

Mark: This is the thing to think about. Let’s bring us all in the room now. What is this word that connects you with what you believe in? If they’re looking at color, it opens this whole new thing, exactly the things we’re talking about. Festivals, light, DIY everything else. If someone asked you for the one thing you represent, what could you reply with you? You know, I stand for…

And can we have longevity and scope for that thing that we believe in, because then we ask ourselves can we capture someone’s imagination and attention on a consistent basis, by looking at that thing that we totally believe in. I’m seeing this now, this is the companies that are faltering and those that are succeeding, and those who’ve got the bit between their teeth, are making a real go of it, as opposed to those people that end up doing it because they see it’s on the checklist for the week that we need to write a blog or we need to do a piece of audio or video. This is the open field that we’ve got today by building these audiences and communities around our core principles, and it’s how we deliver it, big words now, on a consistent and committed basis. It has to be fun, it’s fun!