If you know me at all, you know that I am a little obsessed with all things Magnolia. A love magnolias, but I am more specifically talking about Magnolia — the brand created by Chip and Joanna Gaines in Waco, Texas. What started as a hobby of flipping houses turned into a lifestyle and then into an HGTV show. From there, the Gaines have become an authority on design and renovation. “Joanna Gaines” has become a design style like modern or contemporary. From this influence, they have created a brand that includes restaurants, stores, books, a magazine, events and so much more.
I first became fond of their HGTV show because it was one of the few house flipping shows that did not focus on the negative parts of the process. They made it look fun, enjoyable and rewarding instead of hard, risky and expensive. Their influence and authority on their expertise has created an empire of branding. Just one off-shoot of this brand is an organizational blog.
Like everything else was the Magnolia brand on it, the blog is consistent with their image, style and messaging on all other outlets. As a pretty big fan of their magazine, much of the blog content is similar to the type of content in their magazine, appealing my long for more until the next quarterly issue of the magazine is on the shelf at Walgreens.
Another similarity from the magazine to the blog is it is branded with the stamp of approval of Joanna herself. Joanna writes for the magazine, but clearly has a staff of people who help create the rest of the content. The blog is branded as a blog by Joanna. I am aware that she may not actually write every post, but it is consistent with what she has made her style and expertise. It may be naive, but I imagine her giving every post her personal stamp of approval.
Even more than their instagram accounts, the Magnolia blog brings readers inside the Magnolia location in Waco. Most blog posts fall into one of three categories: recipes, design inspiration and advice and updates on what is happening with the company and locations in Waco. The five headings on the blog that they tag every post to are design, lifestyle, DIY, recipes and updates.
In addition to having consistent, predictable types of content, the content is always fresh, timely and interesting. I may type in magnolia.com/blog know that I will see something about Thanksgiving, but the stuffing recipe, tips of decorating with Garland, advice on a Thanksgiving tablescape and information about Joanna’s new book release — Home Body — still pull me in. Why? The visuals are aesthetically appealing and consistent with the brand and not forced. Posts are frequent, but their are not multiple posts going up per day. Posts are warranted and interesting to their audience. Many organizational social accounts feel the need to put something up just to have something up, even if it is mediocre. Working for an organizational social team, I have experienced this myself. I am not sure what is happening behind the scenes of the Magnolia blog, but from the outside, it seems like they know how to balance the need for fresh content with the need to be consistent to their brand and message.
In addition to that, each post has personal comments. Their posts reach through the screen and personally relate to their readers, making them feel something — feel a connection.
As I work to maintain my own blog as a full-time student, I am inspired by their consistent messaging, aesthetic visuals and clean, concise style.