Observations March 6, 2012 2:15 pm

Y’all. I just discovered the Anthropologie Tumblr, and I am in love. As a consumer and as a marketer.

First, I love it as a consumer.  Anthropologie is one of my favorite stores, if not my very favorite store. I love their clothes, home goods, how they style their catalogs, their spectacularly creative window displays, their support of emerging artists… everything about the brand except their rising prices. And I love how the tumblr account gives me another touchpoint with the brand.

But secondly, and more importantly, the Anthropologie tumblr is a shining example of how brands should be using tumblr– to seamlessly extend brand messaging, not just to have another platform to push product (as so many others do).   Products are everywhere- and to be honest, a shirt is a shirt.  But a shirt from Anthropologie means something different than a shirt from J.Crew- and it’s all because of brand messaging and how brands tap into the psychology of purchase behavior.  Every brand has a message and associated image, and I’d argue that many people buy based on the image, not just the product.

Social sites like Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter give brands the opportunity to further iterate their messaging, strengthen their image/voice, and serve as a place to further connect with consumers.  The Anthropologie tumblr is a great example of how a brand can use these platforms to take the relationship between brand and consumer past a singular point of purchase to be a continuous part of a consumer’s lifestyle.

What is Anthropologie’s brand message?  From the ‘about us’ section on

Anthropologie offers a one-of-a-kind and compelling shopping experience that makes women feel beautiful, hopeful and connected… we’ve learned so much about you – like how you appreciate innovation, artfulness and good design, and how you’re drawn to soulfulness and sincerity.  Although you enjoy the clever details and fine craftsmanship of our products, you come to us for more than that. You come to escape and to connect, to spend time and to make time.  Complex as you are, you remain our inspiration and because of this, we endeavor to bring you an unimagined experience.

When I look at Anthropologie’s tumblr, I believe in their brand messaging.  Anthropologie products don’t clutter the pages, but the Anthropologie brand is on the pages.  The tumblr exquisitely captures the brand’s essence through the use of images and words- from all over the Internet, not just from the Anthropologie archives.  I had to scroll to page 7 before I even saw an Anthropologie product.

The tumblr’s heading itself succinctly captures the essence of how brands should be leveraging social sites: How do we relate?

And even better, replace the word ‘word’ with ‘brand’:

A Brand is Chosen, and Off We Go: What does it conjure? How do we relate? What does the brand really, truly represent?

Other brands should look to Anthropologie on how to best leverage Tumblr (and other social sites- Anthropologie does a great job with their Twitter and Facebook accounts, too!).  It’s easy for brands to just ‘have an account’ and ‘have a presence’ on social sites, but the challenge is in making sure this presence is consumer focused and serves to strengthen the brand’s message and the connection with the consumer.