Why Chip + Joanna Gaines Don't Need 'Fixer Upper' : A Case Study in Storytelling

Chip and Joanna Gaines, hosts of HGTV's Fixer Upper photo via HGTV

Chip and Joanna Gaines, hosts of HGTV's Fixer Upper
photo via HGTV

The collective wailing you’ve heard all day are the cries of women all over the nation mourning the announcement that Season Five of the popular HGTV series, Fixer Upper, will be the last.

You think I’m kidding, but no. There are real tears being shed over this right now.

In fact, I was on the verge of sobbing in a corner myself, but I happened to be on the phone with one of my closest friends, Rachael Anne, when the story broke. And let me tell you, much talk ensued.

RA knows all too well my adoration of Chip and Joanna Gaines, and all things Farm House style. While I consider Rachael Anne my own personal design expert, she only likes the show “well enough”. She claims it’s not her “design aesthetic” and whenever she mentions this
I promptly go all Kanye West  on her like, "HOW SWAY? You ain’t got the answers!

But, I digress.

Rachael Anne's personal design style aside, even she couldn’t deny that the couple has a dedicated follower-ship that is unmatched. “They must’ve done some incredible marketing. I’m usually in tune with that kind of thing.. it almost happened overnight,” she said.

That’s when it hit me. I could pinpoint when most of America, myself included, flipped from being casual Fixer Upper watchers to wanting to Shiplap all the things and being excited for Demo Day. Looking back on watching Season 1, I fell in love with Joanna’s design sense and Chip was funny, too. But, there was a specific moment that I went from loving their style, dynamic and ability...to loving their STORY. It was in this incredibly personal interview from The Gathering Testimony.

Do you remember the first time you watched it?

When this video was released, it was ALL over my Facebook timeline. Perhaps it was on yours, too. Everyone I know shared it to their timelines, along with the directive that you NEEDED to watch it. In the comments, it was widely discussed how much people appreciated and admired their bold faith.

We went from watching their show, to watching THEM. It was all because we felt like we knew them. And truthfully, we did know them better and more intimately; especially Joanna.

Because she told us their story.

In that same conversation with Rachael Anne, I made the statement that at this point, The Gaines’ don’t need Fixer Upper. They’ve expanded their empire into furniture, paint, a new home decor line with Target and more. They have the Midas touch. But, that’s not where their power lies. Because we, as fans, are invested in their story, in THEM, it doesn’t matter what they expand to; they’ve built the penultimate in business success- a loyal fan base while being authentic. Simply because they told their story and continue to share their story.

This why storytelling leads the conversation when I’m working on social media strategy with clients. You can build a decent and successful business without storytelling, but it won’t be Joanna Gaines level though! (again, with the Kanye reference).

Let’s discuss! Are you engaging with your audience and telling your story? Or would you like to, but not sure how to do it on a level you’re comfortable with?
For more social media tips (and probably more Kanye references, because that video is a definite favorite), be sure to follow The Social Crown on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.