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All Your Ducks In a Row

If you're in business and you don't invest in nurturing bloggers, you need to take a lesson from Brizo.

For the past three years, Brizo--a luxury faucet brand and division of Delta Faucet Company--has invited a group of bloggers twice a year to its New York Fashion Week Event. This group, known as the Blogger 19, consists of bloggers who are interior designers (like me), architects, writers, and lifestyle professionals who write about luxury design and construction. For two and a half days, Brizo teaches and entertains us. We learn about the innovative technologies Brizo has developed. We act as focus groups for Brizo to test new designs and finishes. We participate in team-building activities like scavenger hunts, cooking lessons and the occasional cocktail party (inside joke). The event culminates with fashion designer Jason Wu's runway show and after-party.

   

               My Blogger 19 group from September 2012 photographed at the Jason Wu after-party. I'm fifth from right.

What develops from these events are bonds of friendship and camaraderie among the Blogger 19 and Brizo's team that last far beyond the actual Fashion Week Event. Brizo knows this, and promoted it last week by inviting all of the Blogger 19s to a reunion in Memphis.

                           

More to follow about the Memphis activities, but in short, on Day 1, we toured St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the residences for families who have a child undergoing long-term treatment at St. Jude. The day culminated in a celebration of Brizo's partnership with St. Jude--a party featuring live music, party props, photo booth, great food and prizes. On Day 2, we toured a manufacturing facility for Brizo and Delta Faucet Company in Jackson, Tennessee and met with Brizo product designers and engineers to learn more about Brizo technology. We also saw new products (yet to be released) that incorporate feedback generated from Blogger 19 focus groups. The day, and reunion, culminated in a closing dinner on Beale Street at Itta Bena Restaurant above BB King's Blues Club.

 

                   Blogger 19s at Brizo + St. Jude Celebration Dinner in Memphis. Photo by Courtney Mullins Price.

What came out of the Brizo Blogger 19 Reunion? Bonds with members of all Blogger 19 groups. Closer relationships with Brizo's team members. Respect and gratitude for Brizo's magnanimous affiliation with St. Jude and its contributions to the St. Jude Dream House Giveaway program. Trust in the Brizo product and brand.

If you're a brand and you're not cultivating relationships with bloggers like Brizo is, you're missing out on a unique marketing opportunity. Brizo's Blogger 19 program has generated over one million social media impressions. That's getting the word out.

So what should you do if you're a brand?

Identify your brand ambassadors. Who's out there generating content that targets your market? What platforms do they use? How wide is their following?

Invite your brand ambassadors to a VIP event. Create an event that makes your brand ambassadors feel like royalty. Make it exclusive. Make it intimate. Be a great host and take care of every basic need.

Give your brand ambassadors swag. Anything with your brand's logo. Then give them something really special. A parting gift they could hardly expect.

Follow up with retweets and blog comments when they post about the event. And stay in touch.

Brizo just knows how to do it right.