Bethenny Frankel’s webpage, entitled Bethenny, encompasses a lot of content. Upon entering the page, one is presented with multiple options including: food, lifestyle, business, relationships, Bethenny, Skinnygirl, and events.
Bethenny Frankel and the Skinnygirl brand are an intertwined pair. Chances are, if you follow Bethenny, you are a fan of Skinnygirl products. These options range from nutrition, food products, alcohol, fitness equipment, books, and workout videos. She utilizes cross-promotion and product placement through her platform as a reality television star on The Real Housewives of New York City. Her social media platforms are readily available at the top of the website. Viewers can also search for products via their geographic location and subscribe to her newsletter with ease.
Her digital team was effective in creating a mobile application for the website. The website is mobile friendly and easy to navigate. When entering via mobile, you can scroll through her updates by date of post that are then further subdivided into categories of interest. If the user does not want to scroll through the content, there is an option to select a category in the upper left hand corner of the site. Furthermore, her social media sites are linked directly through the application.
Content is key to the success of any brand’s website. Users crave fresh content in order to stay relevant. At first glance, there appears to be an abundant amount of content due to the amount of categories and products. However, I would not agree that it is fresh. The most relevant media is the Instagram feed that scrolls at the top of the page. When the user digs into the articles, new ones have have not been published in many categories since June or July. Her most recent publication was Labor Day, which is now over two weeks old. There have certainly been opportunities to create content around the start of fall, beginning of football, and back to school.
Bethenny Frankel and the Skinnygirl brand incorporate both push and pull marketing techniques to reach consumers.
According to “Push Marketing” featured in Marketing-Schools.org, push marketing is exemplified when, “Push advertising tries to push products towards customers using big ads and attention-grabbing claims to put products right in the minds of customers.” This technique is utilized through push emails, billboards, and national television commercials – all strategies that the brand utilizes.
Featured National Television Commercials:
According to “Pull Marketing” by Marketing-Schools.org, “Pull marketing is any method a company uses to generate demand for a product.” Furthermore, “Modern pull marketing uses various channels to generate interest about a product or company, encouraging customers to seek out the product or company on their own.” Skinnygirl’s greatest ally is the health and fitness world. Bethenny Frankel and the Skinnygirl brand are often featured in magazines such as Shape, Women’s Health, and Cosmopolitan. These are all platforms that many women study religiously to seek health and fitness advice.
Her website also pulls in site viewers through contests. Contest like the “Skinnygirl Summer” giveaway would entice loyal consumers who already love the brand and those who may be curious to try the products.
Her marketing techniques are often so successful that it is difficult to distinguish between push and pull marketing. This is demonstrated through the product scroll at the bottom of the website. Website viewers are “pulled in” to explore all product options, but the brand is simultaneously “pushing” content to the viewer.
As discussed in lecture, “brands live in the hearts and minds of the customer, not on the side of the package.” One of the biggest keys to a successful Integrated Marketing Campaign is creating a consistent brand identity. Although, her website offers room for improvement, the layout is successful in breeding brand loyalty and maintaining a similar voice. Aside from product placement, the website reads more like a magazine and lifestyle advice column. This is displayed in the four key elements discussed in lecture as: brand personality, voice, tone, and imagery.
Brand Personality: Bethenny is known for her quick wit, humor, impromptu responses, and often politically incorrect statements. Her website is a synonymous reflection of her own personality.
Voice: Bethenny Frankel uses her brand platforms as a champion for women. This is evident throughout her website. As a single mother, she understands the value of hard work and the time constraints that many women face in balancing family, work, school, and life. She often shares valuable insights on how to advance in the workforce, recipes that are quick and simple for homemade meals, and simplified workouts. She often promotes brands that are not related to her own, but ones that she feels would relate to the people that follow her mantra.
Tone: Bethenny Frankel utilizes humor, strength, and often pokes fun at herself to bring up her followers. She is relatable and straightforward, but never condescending. She allows her readers to see her weaknesses to show that it is okay to fail and how to build from there.
Visual Imagery: The website is consistent with social media platforms in image content. Bethenny utilizes similar photos and diction throughout all sites to create a similar perception. There is room for improvement in using a similar color scheme. The Skinnygirl brand relies on red, black, and white. These colors should be utilized in all platforms.
Areas To Improve
I would like to see a greater effort towards integrating all forms of media. Her website does offer social media sharing buttons, widgets to share articles to social media sites, and a scrolling Instagram feed at the top. But there is definitely room for improvement.
Her website could benefit from a Twitter and Facebook live feed. Especially since Twitter is one of her most frequently used platforms. Since her articles are not constantly updated, this would create a perception of fresh content. Furthermore, her personality would also align well with a blogging platform. Her followers would take interest in her daily eating habits, workout routines, and opinions about current events.
Although her website and social media platforms exemplify synergy, “an interaction of individual parts that results in the whole being greater than the sum of those parts (source lecture).” There is a lack in consistency with content. As exemplified below, if one were to examine the first couple of posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, the content is sporadic and not consistent. The posts should align with one another to create a sense of uniformity. Her sites would also benefit from more giveaway contests that are cross-promoted through all platforms.
According to an article in Entrepreneur “How Reality Star Bethenny Frankel Achieved Brand Success,” Adam Callinan credits Frankel’s success to the relationship with her fans. “Frankel realized early on that if she remained completely open and honest with her audience about absolutely everything, they would follow her purely out of the trust that was built.” After researching her website, this is evident. She is honest with her fans about her strengths, weaknesses, and struggles. She furthers these points with offering advice on how to overcome adversity and build inner strength. This is the key behind her brand. Callinan continues that, “This brings up an important lesson for all businesses, and particularly newer ones. You absolutely must remain true to yourself and to your brand from the very beginning, and if you do this effectively, you might just find yourself in a situation where your audience — or customers — will follow you anywhere.”