This blog post is guest written by Lisa Tu, Community Manager at Bazaarvoice.

"What makes Canada priceless?"As Canada’s leading lifestyle brand, Roots offers clothing, leather goods and home furnishings with an eclectic, earth-friendly sense of style. Its global fans are fanatics, and Roots consistently reaches out to and highlights them on their site. They started in March 2009 with a huge push to gather customer reviews, and this summer they introduced a Stories campaign asking their customers, “What makes Canada priceless?”

Roots used Stories to help associate their brand with national pride, and they went all-out to gather input from consumers – from low-tech to high-tech tactics. They teamed up with MasterCard to offer the chance to win a $1,000 Mastercard gift card to all contributors.

They kicked off the campaign by having the Roots Street Team video random pedestrians answering the question, “What makes Canada priceless?” on Canada Day, and posted the video on their site. They gathered email addresses of these proud Canadians to encourage them to post more stories online. In stores, they used good old-fashioned signage to promote the contest and drive shoppers to their site to submit stories.

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They also emailed approximately 80,000 people in their customer database about the contest, and posted the campaign on their Twitter and Facebook pages. They didn’t miss a chance to promote this on category and main pages on www.roots.com, too.

To increase contributions and maximize participation, Roots also asked readers to rate and vote on their favorite stories. Allowing non-writers to interact with the stories drove additional traffic and participation in the campaign.

And this is just one of several stories campaigns that Roots has implemented – another best practice that Bazaarvoice advocates. While those who love Canada can write their stories, Roots also encourages consumers to share stories about their favorite causes, pets, and children. In this way, Roots gives all types of consumers – even those who are not yet Roots customers – ways to interact and contribute, ultimately building brand affinity with contributors and readers. What’s more, even if a Roots customer hasn’t purchased anything recently, these campaigns give them reasons to come back to the site – even if they’re not consciously in the market for new clothing.

Check out all the campaigns at Roots’ “Real Stories from our Customers” page, and see what other clients are doing with Stories.

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