Wholesome Culture: Cultivating a Cruelty-free Community through Analytics
Updated: Mar 31
This was written for CAS 840: Audience Analytics in the Michigan State University Strategic Communications MA program.
Introduction Wholesome Culture (WC), a plant-based fashion brand, sprouted up in 2017. Their mission is to make clothes in a safe, sustainable and “mindful” environment where employees are treated with respect (Waterloo, 2018; Wholesome Culture, n.d., p. 1). WC’s mission and content rely heavily on cruelty-free and pro-vegan messaging and positioning (Waterloo, 2018). WC’s use of audience analytics enabled the brand to build a community through messaging that aligns with audience philosophy and core values (Digital Marketing Institute, 2020). The brand has grown through focus on brand awareness, audience sentiment, and target audience insight (Waterloo, 2018). Brand awareness Leveraging the engagement metric, WC incorporates viral memes and pop culture references to create awareness and to drive traffic to their websites and social media channels. Through this practice, the brand strategically places socially attractive posts between company content and curates their feed to reflect mission and vision (Waterloo, 2018). Customer replies and audience interactivity have helped the brand blossom. Audience sentiment Sentiment is big with WC, which is not surprising because vegans and vegetarians are passionate, committed lifestyle groups. On the WC Facebook page (284,041 likes), users “passionately engage” with the brand through comments. On Facebook, WC has an average one-day reply time (Waterloo, 2018, p. 8). Target audience It might seem odd for a fashion brand to post recipes, but WC has found success by posting vegan recipes (including video instructions) on their blog and on Instagram (834K followers). They shrewdly use tags and hashtags, like #veganlife, to expand their reach with peripheral audiences by increasing the chances of appearing in search results (Waterloo, 2018). Recipes earn goodwill and demonstrate the brands commitment. What worked WC successfully created a fan base and community, while incorporating attitudes, behaviors, core values and beliefs into digital and social channels. What could be improved Waterloo (2018) states that WC has a one-day response time on Facebook. However, this article is from 2018, and this could have improved by now. Theoretically, if they could improve response time, then they could strengthen the bond with their audience and increase the chance of positive digital word of mouth.
Gaps in analytics Gaps in the audience analysis include gender and age demographics, median income, geography, and education levels. WC could gain a deeper understanding by using these categories to further develop segments and personas. Core values are a strong, emotional appeal. But audiences are not completely homogeneous.
Conclusion Every garden has difference sections; similarly, it seems like the brand has grown a large audience that shares the same vegan and vegetarian values, but the brand could dig deeper and nurture niches.
Digital Marketing Institute. (2020, October 5). 6 of the best digital marketing campaigns you can learn from.
Waterloo. (2018, June 24). Wholesome Culture—Social media metrics for success. https://smbp.uwaterloo.ca/2018/06/wholesome-culture-social-media-metrics-for-success/
Wholesome Culture. (n.d.). About. https://www.wholesomeculture.com/pages/mission