The Associated Press recently released an article industry trends with food blogs. The trend of sending merchandise to food bloggers has become very popular amongst major food companies. "Courting one blog with a couple of thousand daily readers may not have a huge impact, but marketers can easily reach several such blogs with little effort, said Debbie Weil, a corporate blogging consultant based in Washington, D.C."
The same trend can be seen on many tea blogs across the net. So far, it is mostly limited to tea samples, however, some companies are now sending out teaware and other tea-related merchandise. In this era of splitering media and a return to tribalism (in terms of ideas and information) through new media, I think that this shift in corporations' (and smaller companies'!) attitudes toward marketing reflects a significant change in how information is disseminated and received. After all, how many people still buy a particular tea or tea product because they saw an ad for it? And how many people buy a tea or product because someone whose opinion they respect raved about it?
Lately, a lot of tea companies have been starting their own blogs. This is due to blogging's overall rise in popularity, but I'm sure the recent New York Times article on business blogging didn't hurt. I've been lucky enough to work with a few companies as a tea blogging consultant, and I have to say that it is a very exciting trend in the tea world! It personalizes the companies for the clients, and it ensures that clients will check back regularly for new products, events, and other updates. Just as the NYT article says, it can be a major marketing tool at a low cost to even small businesses. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next, and to being a part of it!