Semaine.com is an integrated media and e-commerce platform launched in September 2015 by Michelle Lu and Georgina Harding. Having both worked in-house for fashion photographer Mario Testino, they had years of experience producing and planning photo shoots from casting, concept, and production, working with brands and publishers alike. Coming out with a strong sense of trend forecasting and a wide network of lifestyle personalities, they wanted to completely rethink the traditional magazine experience. No more clippings, no more page cutouts, but rather an immersive and highly curated shoppable experience.
Following their motto “Forget the look, shop the life,” Semaine allows users to truly shop the lifestyle of the magazine pages. Michelle and Georgie had started noticing a shift in fashion media; women were increasingly interested in design, travel, wellness, and leading an overall balanced life. The platform presents an aspirational world: from working out like Madonna’s trainer, buying a first piece of art for the house, to traveling to luxe food and hospitality destinations around the world. Online users don’t just buy anymore, they want to elevate their taste and understand what informs their product choices. Semaine's content strategy encompasses the diverse aspects of a multi-facetted life through a mix of industry tastemakers and original video content.
What has been the source of Semaine’s success? Its focus on content.
By offering both low and high ends of the content spectrum, Semaine presents the current ever-changing notion of luxury. The site champions brands like Cuyana, From Afar Crafts, and The Arrivals, which specialize in timeless essentials. Producing in limited quantities, these brands are committed to providing quality at affordable prices while maintaining their core focus.
For content platforms today, luxury no longer means expensive big brands, but rather a unique curation of the user experience. Just as the “How to Collect Art” feature shows, anyone can now buy art as an experienced collector does. Living a life of luxury is no longer just for the elite. Semaine has turned the exclusive inclusive.
For online sales platforms, users need to be led through the shopping experience, which can often be overwhelming and daunting. Take the example of buying contemporary fine art. People are often intimidated by the white cube gallery and unsure of how to penetrate a seemingly exclusive and inaccessible world. In Semaine’s feature on auctioneer and Paddle8 co-founder Alexander Gilkes, viewers learn practical tips and tricks on how to collect. The platform then features a selection of artworks curated by Alex, all of which can be immediately purchased online.
With the rise of social media, it’s been ingrained in us that tastemakers have become brands in their own right.
What does this mean for content strategy across media and industries? The curator is the key to unique, user driving content. Whether they are selecting product for e-commerce to make sure consumers can feel good about their purchase, or brand storytelling from a unique point of view, the curator lies at the heart of successful content-creation.
Stuck on what makes good content? Start by considering the tastemakers in your industry and examine how you could incorporate them into your platform as a content partner, curator, or storyteller.
What we can learn from Semaine is to think outside the box when it comes to content strategy. Whether you’re a brand or an editorial platform, your focus on original, inspirational, or simply attractive content will be the key to generating new users and getting them to come back to your site.
Content differentiation creates brand distinction.