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Branding

Dot & Bo: A Modern E-Commerce Brand Driven by Curated Content


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Did you know that e-commerce sales in the US are expected to top $279 billion this year? With profits like that, it’s no surprise that online brands are facing more pressure to set trends, produce compelling content, and stand out from  competitors.

One online brand making waves is Dot & Bo–a home goods company that has mastered the art of curated merchandise. Brandfolder talked with Allyson Campa, VP of Marketing at Dot & Bo, about how the brand has effectively combined content and e-commerce to become a trendsetter in the online home goods industry.

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Your Design Inspiration series features curated furniture and decor collections based on themes, styles, and ideas. How do you ensure that each collection of curated content appeals to your target market and stays consistent with current trends?

Allyson: Our curators keep on top of what’s trending and where home design is headed as they develop their own point of view on what’s stylish. On top of that, Dot & Bo is a very data driven company and we are constantly listening to market feedback. We analyze each collection’s sales results, engagement metrics, and audience response. Of course, we always leave room to experiment and push the boundaries because if we didn’t, then we wouldn’t be able to identify new trends.

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How do you manage brand consistency with all of these separate design inspiration collections, which really act as mini brands with stories and styles of their own?

Allyson: The Dot & Bo brand stands for modern, fresh, stylish home design.  For us, modern is more about a modern lifestyle than a very specific style of furniture and is constantly evolving as new trends emerge and old trends are reinterpreted.  We find it fascinating to explore the history behind these trends, regional influences and differences, and original ways to express these styles in your home.  All of this, and more, is inspiration for our daily collections and content.

We organize our collections as if they’re episodes in a series, with a connected storyline that carries over from collection to collection within the series. Each series celebrates “inspired design for the modern lifestyle” just from a different angle–such as our Dream House series, Travel & Getaway Series, or Crafted Series.

We hear from our customers that they want their homes to be a reflection of their creativity and style.  Most people welcome a little inspiration and help in figuring out their style and how to express it. Customers tell us that they love the variety of our curated collections because they get fresh ideas for things they might not have considered otherwise, and this inspires them to think outside the box. While the collections are varied by design, they all fit within the boundaries of our brand.

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In what ways do you leverage the content on your blog “Design District” to drive customer engagement?

Allyson: We see content and commerce as going hand-in-hand. This is especially true in our category, where inspiration, furnishings and how-to’s are all necessary components for decorating your home. Our customers fluidly move in and out of different stages, from getting ideas to purchasing merchandise, and we want to be able to help them wherever they are at in the cycle.

We’re happy to have people come to our site for ideas and content without purchasing anything, because we know that when they are ready to buy something, we’re there as a resource. This helps build a longer relationship with them without just focusing on being transactional.

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Customized shopping and DIY interior decorating is a pretty crowded space. How does the Dot & Bo experience differ from other stylish furniture brands? To what do you contribute your brand’s fast growth?

Allyson: Our growth is fueled by a couple of significant trends. There’s a very big shift from offline to online shopping and we are benefiting from that behavioral change. Home design inspiration is now everywhere: HGTV has 24-hour programming, there are online sites that offer in-depth home design tutorials, and overall it’s much more accessible. If you have the time and a good eye, you can use these resources and pull together a really great room. But not everybody has those two things, and that’s where we come in. We do the work to sort through the options and pull together curated collections. We also place an emphasis on real help from real people, which isn’t always available if you’re shopping online somewhere else.

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Michelle Polizzi is a freelance writer and former content coordinator for Brandfolder. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her bicycling around Denver, catching a live concert or cooking up a fresh vegetarian dish.

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