There’s no question that educational content is a powerful marketing tool. It’s an effective way to drive engagement and increase brand exposure, all while building credibility and forging deeper and more meaningful relationships with consumers that can translate into greater revenue over time. One particularly effective way of educating customers is by offering branded classes that bring like-minded people together to solve a problem, learn new skills, or just have fun doing something they really enjoy.
Below we look at five brands that offer some fantastic classes that captivate their customers, build trust with them, and deepen their brand loyalty.
1. Michaels Gets Crafty
A few years ago, specialty arts and crafts retail leader Michaels partnered with AnyRoad to launch store-led classes designed to educate customers by transforming Michaels classrooms into true community “Making Spaces” where instructors and “Makers” across the country could work on a variety of crafting projects.
To date, more than 400,000 people have attended the classes, which stand out for their locally driven curriculum and ability to make customers feel right at home. By providing hands-on instruction, the company is helping deepen customers’ passion for crafting, while connecting them to other like-minded people and deepening their love for the brand.
2. Weber Turns up the Heat
When you think about grilling, you probably think about Weber. The manufacturer of charcoal, gas, and electric outdoor grills is a staple of barbecues all across the country. One reason why the brand is so beloved is because of the combination of in-person and virtual grilling classes it offers. No matter whether you’re just starting out or already a grill master, Weber classes can help you with everything from mastering rotisserie chicken to making the perfect grilled pizza or succulent St. Louis-style ribs.
Weber’s classes not only teach those who are interested in perfecting their grilling game, they also help reinforce the brand’s position as the go-to expert for all of their barbecue needs. Learn to grill on a Weber, and you’ll become a loyalist.
3. Blue Bottle Coffee Brews up a Loyal Following
Boutique coffee chain Blue Bottle values two things above all else: making great coffee and teaching other people how to do so. They offer an array of classes that walks customers through the same in-depth information and training that they provide their own staff in cafes all over the world. Participants can learn about how to select the right beans, the virtues of different pouring techniques, and how to grind for different brew methods to get the best results. Their goal is to guide their customers (and caffeinate them) on a journey toward making delicious (Blue Bottle) coffee for the rest of their lives.
4. Apple Inspires Creativity and Awe
Whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, just about everyone seems to have one Apple device or another these days. Of course, not everyone is skilled at using those devices to their full potential. To address this need, the company created Today at Apple, a program that allows customers to schedule appointments with team members so that they can learn everything from the basics of using their new laptop or phone to more creative endeavors, like how to take better pictures, edit videos, and create original music. Participants can even learn about coding and get help with building their own apps.
What makes this program so effective is that not only is the material incredibly relevant and useful, it also shows customers everything that’s possible with their products, helping them to extract more value from their purchases while also further strengthening their brand loyalty.
5. Nike Says Just Do It
To help motivate its customers to achieve their fitness goals, Nike introduced its Run Club app, which offers guided runs with a pre-recorded coach who offers words of encouragement and practical advice. Featuring tools like a GPS tracker so that runners can keep tabs on how far they’ve gone, the app helps users meet their fitness goals when they are on their own while also pointing them to an array of in-store activities they can participate in when they’re looking for some comradery.
Perhaps most impressive is that the app, which has ranked as high as number 12 in the App Store, not only helps people become better runners, but that it also forges a powerful connection between that experience and the brand itself as part of the process.
What Can Your Brand Teach?
Branded classes are a smart way to foster engagement, build loyalty, and ultimately improve your company’s bottom line. And as the examples above have shown, everyone who participates in them can have a lot of fun developing their interests in the process.