Pinterest of Strategic Interest to BrandsThough most of my time is spent helping companies create and communicate clear and compelling visions to grow their businesses exponentially, my conversations with C-level executives often turn to the topic of social media.

Many executives in the C-Suite are looking for advice regarding which social media outposts, such as Facebook and Twitter, they should consider for their companies and brands. I always start by asking them where their customers and potential customers are currently engaged.

The Rise of Pinterest

It appears there is a new outpost that is capturing the attention of leading brands… Pinterest. The Lands’ End Canvas brand sees Pinterest as, “the intersection of style and social, and…a natural visual platform to showcase the brands’ image and product.”

“This week, Lands’ End Canvas is tapping the visual, style-conscious Pinterest audience to launch an engagement promotion. The campaign, called “Lands’ End Canvas Pin It to Win It,” encourages users to browse and create virtual Lands’ End Canvas pinboards for a chance to win apparel from the modern, vintage-inspired clothing line from Lands’ End,” said Lands’ End’s PR firm, Circle Public Relations.

The promotion starts today and runs through December 21.

I had the opportunity to ask Michele Casper, Director of Public Relations for Lands’ End, a few questions about the strategy behind the promotion:

  1. As a brand, how does Lands’ End Canvas see Pinterest fitting into its social media strategy? Why?

We officially launched the Lands’ End Canvas Pinterest page on November 17, 2011. We were first introduced to Pinterest by our blog partners who were fans of this new social medium. Once we joined, we realized images from Lands’ End Canvas were already pinned and circulating. As a result, we committed to creating and activating a presence to join our current fans and attract new audiences.

This is our first Pinterest contest and we look forward to exploring new and fun ways to engage our fellow pinners in 2012.

  1. Does Lands’ End Canvas envision different customer experiences with the brand in different social media channels?

Absolutely. Pinterest is a very visual application that fosters inspiration, creativity and design – all relevant to our brand. In addition, it is a simple way for new customers to be inspired by Lands’ End Canvas and click through to find those products. Since Pinterest is a visual platform, we’ve found that contest language is better housed elsewhere, such as Facebook.

  1. What is Lands’ End Canvas objective for its customers in this Pin It to Win It contest?

Lands’ End Canvas is continuously looking for new communication channels and opportunities to introduce new customers to the brand. The Pin it to Win It contest is a fun way to showcase the lifestyle and relevant appeal of Lands’ End Canvas in a fresh, cutting-edge way.

  1. Lands’ End Canvas seems to be at the leading edge here with Pinterest. What made your team (including executives) confident about engaging customers in this channel

Pinterest is the intersection of style and social and is a natural, visual platform to showcase lifestyle and relevant appeal of Lands’ End Canvas.

  1. What do you want Pin It to Win It customers to experience through this promotion?

First and foremost, we want the Pin It to Win It contest to be a fun, engaging moment with Lands’ End Canvas. We also hope that it helps participants to discover Lands’ End Canvas, its products and images to inspire their personal style.

Key Strategic Points for Companies

  • Lands’ End Canvas heard about Pinterest, as Michele said, from their blogging partners who had become fans of this new medium.
  • The brand realized their customers and potential customers were already engaging with the brand on Pinterest, and they responded by embracing the activity and looking for ways to participate with them.
  • They are thinking strategically about how they use this channel relative to others, and designing their approach to reflect the lifestyle of customers on Pinterest.

Bottom Line: What are you, as a company or brand, doing to actively seek out ways to engage with your customers in ways that reflect their lifestyle and aspirations?

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