Pete Nordstrom began his career when he was 12 years old and working in a Nordstrom stockroom. After nearly fifty years in the business, he’s had the chance to meet iconic artists, CEOs, community leaders and entrepreneurs — as well as many of Nordstrom’s employees and customers.
So when conversations about launching a Nordstrom podcast began to gain momentum, Pete—a fourth-generation member of Nordstrom’s founding family and the company’s president and chief brand officer—saw an opportunity to invite Nordstrom customers, employees and brand partners along for the journey.
Thus began The Nordy Pod, Nordstrom’s first-ever podcast, comprised of customer stories, conversations with employees and interviews with leaders that have defined their industries. It was a new approach for a company that typically shied away from the spotlight. Hosted by Pete himself, The Nordy Pod takes listeners behind the scenes at Nordstrom, highlighting those seemingly insignificant details that make the company’s legendary customer service so, well, legendary.
Over the course of nearly 25 episodes, Pete has interviewed the likes of Steve Madden, founder and design chief of Steve Madden, and Mickey Drexler, CEO of Alex Mill and former CEO of J.Crew and Gap, Inc. — two retail industry titans known for their relentless focus on the consumer. He’s also interviewed trailblazers like Jessica Alba, actor and founder of the Honest Company, and Aurora James, founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge, about their work to improve circularity and equity in retail.
Pete, himself, puts it best: “I want this podcast to serve as a vehicle to help tell stories — stories about our business, our industry, our customers, and of course, our people. I see it as an opportunity to get out there and connect with people in an authentic way. My hope is that we'll give our listeners new insight into who we are, what we do, and how we do it.”
Nordstrom is known for its world-class customer service. That's why, when we set out to launch a podcast, we did so with a focus on extending that customer service legacy through a new medium, leveraging audio to tell the story of our business, our industry, our customers and our people.
Guest Strategy: Who is Featured?
Each episode of The Nordy Pod features a series of conversations with Nordstrom customers, employees, brand partners and thought leaders — people whose stories are often well-known within the walls of our own company, but that our listeners may not have heard before.
In one particularly memorable episode, Pete tracked down former Nordstrom employee Craig Trounce, the salesperson behind the famous “Tire Story” — a story that’s been embedded in Nordstrom lore for over forty years, to the extent that many people assumed it was a myth. Together, Pete and Craig unpack what actually happened all those years ago (and spoiler alert, we actually did return a customer’s tires).
Pete also spotlights personal friends and leaders from within our industry and beyond it — individuals whose unique points of view have fueled extraordinary stories of resilience and success. To date, episodes have featured Sue Bird, retired WNBA player for the Seattle Storm; Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.; Leonard Lauder, former CEO of the Estée Lauder Companies; Aurora James, founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge; and Emma Grede, founder and CEO of Good American and chairwoman of the Fifteen Percent Pledge.
Each of these guests has their own unique connection to our business: for example, Nordstrom was one of the first major retailers to partner with Emma Grede and Aurora James to sign the Fifteen Percent Pledge, committing 15 percent of our shelf space to Black-owned brands. Pete’s conversation with Grede and James gives listeners insight into both sides of this critical partnership.
Content Strategy: How We Source Stories
The Nordy Pod is made possible in large part by Nordstrom employees and customers who’ve been willing to share their stories. We’ve opened a dedicated email and voicemail box where listeners can share their unique stories and experiences, ask questions, and suggest guests they’d like to hear from.
Promotion Strategy: How We Spread the Word
As we continue to expand the reach of The Nordy Pod, we promote each episode internally and externally with an emphasis on organic, authentic touchpoints and integrations. We share episodes directly with our customers across our owned social channels, through targeted email outreach, and directly on the homepage of Nordstrom and NordstromRack.com. We also encourage our guests to share episodes with their own fans and followers and pitch media on major takeaways and unique stories from the show.
The Nordy Pod continues to reach new heights. As of December 2022, we’ve aired 23 episodes which have been downloaded more than 169,000 times. We’re already competing with some of the biggest podcasts, too: the average number of downloads for an episode of The Nordy Pod continues to be in the top three percent of all podcasts. Just take it from our listeners — we have a 4.9-star rating on Apple Podcasts from 250+ reviews.
One review reads, “Fascinating behind the scenes look into the most innovative department store in the industry. Surprisingly candid business discussions. Everyone speaks with their normal diction, which to me, makes it more listenable. Rather than being a passive listener, you feel as though you’re at the table. Incredibly engaging.”
Another listener says, “No one knows how to connect with the customer like Nordstrom’s. I love the combo of interview, a peek behind the curtain and raving fans — great way to build on the brand and entertain at the same time.”
And the media agrees: to date, the podcast has been featured in more than 20 stories from outlets like Forbes and Axios, generating over 85 million impressions.
Without a standard media distribution network, The Nordy Pod has amassed a significant audience full of dedicated listeners. And we're just getting started — we continue to try various earned and paid strategies to reach new listeners around the world.