Is inspiration migrating?

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about shopper behaviour recently and the word ‘inspiration’ keeps cropping up.

The average supermarket now heaves with point of sale promoting inspiring family dinner recipes, packed lunch inspiration and pleas to ‘try something new today’.  Even my inbox overflows with emails from fashion retailers full of ‘wardrobe inspiration’ and ‘inspired A/W looks’. 

It seems to me that the line between editorial and retail is blurring fast.  ASOS recently poached the ElleUk.com editor to lead its UK content strategy “due to the increased importance of editorial content to our business”, while the founding editor of Grazia is off to My-wardrobe.com and the editor of Esquire has upped sticks to mrporter.com.

Does this mean that we’ll start expecting all our ‘inspiration’ for free, rather than stumping up for copies of BBC Good Food magazine or Vogue?  Or will we buy into retail brands to the extent that we are prepared to pay a subscription to access their content?  Or will this content only be available as a reward for loyal customers? 

If the payoff for complimentary content is that it becomes brand curated, will it be left to the amateur online commentators to provide an impartial view? Or will perhaps inevitably they too become part of someone’s brand experience?

It’s going to be very interesting finding out.

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