5 Brands "Pinning the Way" by Using Pinterest for Business

With Pinterest now the “flavour” of the month, and for good reason (it is rapidly showing it's might as a referral source for blog traffic, let alone just being a whole lotta fun), it is time to look at who is doing it well on Pinterest….and which brands are “Pinning the Way” for us all to follow.

Brands on Pinterest, doing it well
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Pinterest is an online pinboard that helps you organize and share things you love. It is also a virtual playground for businesses when done well and with a little etiquette.

What are these brands doing right, what are they trying that is new and why are they popular?  Let's pull apart a few Pin Boards on Pinterest and take a look at what 5 Brands are doing well with this popular new Social Media Platform.

Brands on Pinterest are still relatively new…and to be honest everyone is still working out how it works, the rules of etiquette, and how to use Pinterest for Business.  But while we all work it out, these brands are seemingly doing it well, experimenting and “Pinning the Way” on Pinterest.  Here is why.

5 Brands “Pinning the Way” on Pinterest

1     Scholastic – The much loved Publishing Company of Children's book, magazine and educational programs

Scholastic on Pinterest.
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Scholastic. Drown in a sea of books, and all things about books. The love of books. Love.
  • Boards Include: Vintage Scholastic (think “Clifford the Dog Originals!”), Reading Nooks (amazing reading “nooks” or spaces), Creative Bookcases, Beautiful Bookshops, Harry Potter. Always, Classroom Ideas, Just for Fun, Wise Words…the list goes on. If it is about Books, they are “Pinning It”. If you love books, you will lose yourself in Scholastic's boards and pins.
  • How are they using it benefit their brand? Scholastic are using their Pinterest Account to build brand awareness through emotion, a sense of nostalgia and a connection with books.  They are establishing themselves as the “home” of books – from the beautiful images of amazing bookcases to the beautiful bookstores, the creative ideas, the nostalgic children's books covers and the inspirational quotes.  You will come away as thinking of Scholastic as the place to go for books, especially children's books.
  • What's to love? Have they advertised their “books for sale” on their boards? No.  They don't need to.  You will want to run out and buy books anyway, after getting lost in their Pinterest Boards.  They have created a world about books. The pins that do link back to their website are not about products but about nostalgia (links to the “Magic School Bus” series or “Clifford” or “Harry Potter”).  You want to dive into each of their boards – the titles are engaging, the content is easy to get lost in.   And it makes you want to go to their website and buy books. Lots of them.
2     Daily Grommet – A daily product discovery site featuring products of great utility, style or invention that haven't hit the bigtime yet.

Daily Grommet Deals Site
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The Daily Grommet – a product site using Pinterest well to feature their daily deals.

  • Boards Include: In the Kitchen, Problem Solvers, Gifts for Guys, Earth Friendly, For Green Thumbs, Talented Artisans and more….
  • How are they using it benefit their brand? Daily Grommet describe themselves as “a daily product discovery site featuring products of great utility, style or invention that haven't hit the big time yet.  These are finds we love and want to share them with the world”.
    • They have continued this theme with Pinterest – essentially showcasing (mainly) their products via Pinterest Boards, but the names of the boards and quality of the products are quite enticing so you can forgive any focus on their own products and links through to their product pages, because, quite frankly, you will be wanting to buy most of it anyway!
    • They also feature some boards that are links to elsewhere such as Favourite Videos and Creative Giftwrapping and See & Do – a mix of topics related to their gifts, or culture surrounding their business.
    • Daily Grommet are starting to “play” with the idea of Competitions and Contributor Boards.  What is a Contributor Board? It is where you give permission to a person to be able to pin on your board.  As discussed in my recent  article about Instagram and Pinterest and their potential for brand awareness, this has massive potential for brands.  For example, Daily Grommet have a board called “Finds YOU Want to See Featured”. This features the following descriptor explaining that anyone can pin on this board if they send an email to Daily Grommet to get permission.

  • What's to love? At the core of Daily Grommet is their great products.  Innovative, visually appealing (hence Pinterest is a great platform for them to showcase their quirky finds) and they add in a touch of culture and fun along with links to their products (and some sharing of other brands and products).  They are starting to do some really interesting things with Community and Contributor Boards as well as competitions revolving around Pinning in order to win prizes.  Innovative use of Pinterest from a company that features Innovative Products.  Funny that.
3     Lorna Jane  – Australia's Premier Activewear Brand.

Lorna Jane is now using Pinterest for Brand Awareness
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Lorna Jane are already showing their innovative side on Facebook. Pinterest will likely follow suit.

  • Boards Include: Active Styles by Lorna Jane, Move Your Body, Nourish from the Inside Out, Believe Anything is Possible, from the Runway. NOTE:  Lorna Jane is less established than some of the other brands on Pinterest but they have been chosen to feature specifically because we know that they will rock this space.  When thinking of brands that can do well with visual platforms, you only have to look at some of the interactive and engaging campaigns they have run not only in offline media but also online, especially using social media.  It seems that they intend to continue this trend on Pinterest.
  • How are they using it benefit their brand? Lorna Jane have gone with a nice balance of product promotion/listing with links, to “content curation” – ie boards that provide content from other sites of interest to their fans – from inspirational quotes and the science of self-belief  to food/health tips to shareable “work out” and movement/fitness quotes, mini-workouts and inspirational messags.
  • What's to love? Lorna Jane have reflected their brand well so far with their boards and provided very shareable content for their fans.  I would watch this space for innovative competitions or use of Contributor Boards, as they have done this well on Facebook and other channels, so I expect to see more from Lorna Jane.  I like the fact that they have just 5 Boards for pinning thus far,  as this may actually be a reflection of their clarity about their brand and their message, rather than a lack of Boards.   Watch this space (and possibly get fit while you do!).
4    Whole Foods Market “These are just a few of the things we love…and we love to share them with you.”  Whole Food Markets are all about food, just as Scholastic is all about books.
Whole Foods Market are doing it well on Pinterest
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Whole Foods Market. Huge Following on Pinterest. All about their passion for food. Is it anyone wonder it is popular?

  • Boards Include: Eat Your Veggies, Sweet Tooth, How Does Your Garden Grow, Go Go Gadgets, Delicious Art, Super HOT Kitchens, Cheese is the Bees Knees, Whole Planet Foundation, Winter Holiday Favourites, Our Favourite Books, and many many more.
  • How are they using it benefit their brand? The Whole Foods approach to Pinterest is simple – they visually convey their passion about food. They are not talking about their produce or their products or even their brand – they are talking about their passion – about food and all things food.  Remember that people buy WHY you do something and not WHAT you do.  If you can shine a light on your passion for your niche – then Pinterest is ideal for you.
  • What's to love? Whole Foods Market has built a strong following of almost 17,000 people by not focusing on their products and services but instead focusing on their passion (food and eating great food).  What's not to love?  There is a good message in this – don't focus on promoting your products and just focus on what you love.  Sometimes focusing on what you love will involve your products and services and that is ok too.   We love the community that Whole Foods Market have built and look forward to seeing if they include some more engagement with their community via Contributor Boards and Promotions in future.
5.    Oprah – no description required.

Oprah's Official Pinterest Account
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Oprah on Pinterest. Like a good wine paired with a great meal. Meant to be together.

  • Boards: Quotes We Love, Great Buys for Under $100, Stellar Storage Solutions, The O List, Places Oprah Loves, Desserts We Want to Eat, Fancy Feet (shoes!), Love Quotes, Your Life in Six Words, Winter Soups, Oprah's Next Chapter, Oprah's Master Class, Recent News, O Magazine Covers, Best of the Oprah Winfrey Show, OWN Shows, Super Bowl Recipes and a few more….
  • How are they using it benefit their brand? One thing I was surprised to see was that Oprah only has 2671 followers so far.  This is still growing and they are obviously still “playing with it”.  Her team have found a balance between promoting her magazine and TV shows and her favourite things, quotes, and recommendations (books, products, shoes, places, desserts) as well as topical boards such as Super Bowl Recipes or Boards related to seasonal products. Personally I think Pinterest suits Oprah perhaps as much or more than any other Social Media Platform.  Her team are using it to give a “window” into Oprah as well as to provide her fans with other information that they what from her…especially products and things that she loves, and daily inspiration.
  • What's to love? I love that Oprah's team are as new to this as the rest of us, but it is plain to see that they are embracing the visual nature of Pinterest and we should see interesting Pins from now on.

There you have it – 5 brands using Pinterest well.  These are just a few examples of businesses using Pinterest as a part of their overall marketing strategy. I am sure I could find 100 if I had the time, but maybe you can go on a search for inspiration yourself.

What about you – have you started using Pinterest for Business?  Or have you set up a personal account?  Have you noticed an increase in traffic and referrals from Pinterest?  How do you like it so far?

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About in 2019". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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  1. Lisa

    Great Examples of pinterest use for business, Donna. Its great to see a new type of social channel gain traction for business.

    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Lisa. Yes it is definitely growing legs as far as Business goes. We are still definitely waiting to see how all the rules and etiquette go as far as how far “business” use can be taken, however, I think if brands ebb on the side of caution and stick to the etiquette of providing great content over pushing their products and services, it will be an awesome way for them to connect with their community. And let’s face it, it is (at least for the girls) a bit of a playground!

  2. monica darik

    لپ تاپ Donna Moritz ,Great Examples of pinterest use for business,, I agree with Liz

    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Monica – I am glad that it has helped. Good luck with your timeline!


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