The key ingredient in successful brand journalism is people.
Focusing on the people behind the product, the people using the product, the people helping others with the product and not the product itself is a core tenet of brand journalism.
Take Starbucks and its annual holiday cups. The company chose to focus marketing efforts on the employee behind the artwork.
This showed that Starbucks values its employees and creates a positive work environment, which resonates with established and potential customers alike. Starbucks becomes more human and seems less like a giant food and beverage chain.
Its use of storytelling has helped spread the organization’s message. In the past, this might have been done by buying expensive newswire services or spending hours pitching largely unresponsive journalists.