Client Spotlight: Kate Gagnon from OXO on Building True Partnerships from Existing Relationships

Kate Gagnon leads the digital marketing strategy at OXO, a New York-based housewares brand. In her day-to-day, she focuses on bringing the OXO brand story to life through social, email, blog content and digital partnerships. Previously, she led the digital team at an agency working with clients in luxury lifestyle, design and architecture. Kate is a recent client of Gear Patrol Studios. We had a chance to catch up with her and get her insights around co-branded partnerships, Instagram lurking and power of sponsored content.

Oxo's Kate Gagnon's client spotlight.

OXO has been an inspiring client to work with, what's it like working there everyday?

I love working at OXO because there’s so much curiosity here. Everyone is trying to find a better way to do something – from product designers innovating around the best way to open a can of beans to someone on the ops team making a spreadsheet that better communicates product launch info across the company. That sort of always-striving-for-better energy is infectious and key to keeping up with digital.

Oxo's pour-over coffee setup is one of the best in the game.

What are the most exciting marketing trends that you’re seeing in the marketplace?

I’m interested in how companies are creating their own inner circles of affiliated people and brands. It’s starting to feel like brands are people in this way – Brand X is friendly with Brand Y. Before social, if you wanted to collaborate with another brand, maybe you’d do some sort of co-merchandised display or even a partnered product collection. But now, everything can happen much faster and more informally. At OXO, we can partner with cookbook authors who are just releasing a book we admire or co-create content with an ingredient company we love. These relationships can be long-lasting and positive for both parties. Plus, it’s exciting to express our brand essence by highlighting partners like this.

What inspires you as a marketer?

I get a lot of inspiration from brands outside of our space – beauty, fashion, CPG. I follow (and unfollow) a lot of brands on Instagram to see what they’re up to. One of my favorites right now is Oatly. From their packaging to out-of-home ads to their hilariously self-aware Instagram feed, they’ve created a super approachable, quirky, lovable brand – for oat milk, of all things! It’s impressive to see so much brand love for something as everyday as milk.

When heading out for work, don't forget your Oxo thermos.

How is OXO distinguishing itself from the competition using content marketing?

Just like how the best influencer partnerships are built on existing relationships between influencers and the brand, the same goes for sponsored content. It’s key to communicate the partnership to readers, but content should always feel like an extension of the already great editorial a team is producing. Above all, we want to make high-quality content that adds value to the conversation. And there’s so much to be gained by having a publisher produce branded content that speaks to their audience in an expected, authentic way. Sponsored content is at its best when it can benefit from the insights gained in editorial and vice versa.

You recently worked with Gear Patrol Studios. What made you choose that route?

Yes! Our experience with Gear Patrol Studios has been excellent. The edit team has covered us in past and we have always been impressed by their beautiful and well-written content across both print and digital. It was a no-brainer for us to partner with GPS to tell a story about OXO Brew leveraging an editorial approach to the content, photography and video, because we knew that it would resonate with their readers and add value.

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