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8 of the Best Branded Podcasts and Why They’re Successful

Last updated on

November 2, 2023

8 of the Best Branded Podcasts and Why They’re Successful

Explore some of the most popular branded podcasts and why listeners love them.

Alison Osborne


 min read


Consumers are spending a significant amount of time listening to podcasts, Edison Research found that on average, 30% of podcast listeners are listening for 10 or more hours per week.  

Over the years, we’ve seen a rise in branded podcasts, especially since 2017 when we began seeing Gimlet and Pacific Content enter the scene with shows like The Message/LifeAfter by General Electric, IRL by Mozilla, and Trailblazers by Dell Technologies. 

Source: CoHost’s State of Branded Podcasts 2022

Whether your brand already has a podcast and is looking for some inspiration or you’re interested in seeing audio success stories, we highlighted 8 companies that have successfully integrated branded podcasts into their content strategy and broke down their approach to success. 

1.  TGIM by Shopify

Shopify’s podcast TGIM was created for listeners (primarily entrepreneurs!) who can’t wait for the week to start. The whole premise of the show is to inspire Shopify’s audience of founders by telling success stories of like-minded entrepreneurs and folks who have launched start-ups. 

The series features well-known influencers, including Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki, and Seth Godin. Their podcast is positioned as essential listening for ambitious founders who are looking to hear inspirational stories from people using their creativity and passion. 

What better way to start your week than getting high-impact advice to get your business up and running? And in turn, it’s an effective way for Shopify to get in front of current and future entrepreneurs, a primary segment for their brand.  

2. The Secret to Victory by Gatorade

This six-part series from Gimlet and sports-drink giant Gatorade features interviews with some of the most successful sports personalities in the world, including Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, J.J. Watt, Karl-Anthony Towns Jr. Kyle Schwarber, and the people who know them best. 

These in-depth discussions covered what motivates them, how they keep their perspective, and how they use their failures to push them to the next level.

The Secret to Victory’s winning formula is that it combines the entertainment value of hearing beloved celebrities with inspiring and motivational messages that listeners can apply to their own lives – both personally and professionally. 

3.  Inside Trader Joe’s by Trader Joe’s

Inside Trader Joe’s is from grocery chain Trader Joe’s started five years ago and had a simple premise: what goes into running a grocery store? Even though it started as a 5-episode series, its popularity has led to it becoming an ongoing podcast. Customers love the show because it’s down-to-earth, relatable, practical, and full of facts and information that the public wouldn’t typically have access to. 

The show’s success can be attributed to taking simple concepts like seasonal shopping lists, staff picks, taste tests, inventory stocking staffing – and making it relatable so that people feel they have an inside look into the brand they love so much. The show’s ability to humanize the brand has led to continued brand loyalty over the years. 

4. The Message by General Electric (GE)

The Message is a science fiction podcast in a journalistic style. In the podcast, scientists work to decode extraterrestrial messages using real technology developed and sold by GE. 

The brilliance of the show lies in its uniqueness. No other multinational organization that focused on aviation, power, renewable energy, digital industry, and venture capital was putting out content that was this engaging. Historically, these industries are seen as stuffy, conservative, and unrelatable. 

GE was able to turn that on its head via its podcast. The Message continues to put out engaging stories that listeners can enjoy while communicating the brand messaging about existing GE technologies. What better way to keep your brand top-of-mind? 

5. The Sauce by McDonald’s

McDonalds’ podcast production was unique, addressing a PR problem created by the limited distribution of a particularly popular sauce. Created around 5 years ago, The Sauce follows the investigative format popularized by the podcast Serial. 

The concept of addressing a PR problem directly through creative use of content is an effective and unique strategy to rebuild a brand’s message and trust, while being able to use the show as a jumping point to other messages about the company.  

Although a short series, today, The Sauce is still talked about within the audio industry as a notable branded podcast.  

6. #LIPSTORIES by Sephora Collection

#LIPSTORIES is a podcast that was created by Girlboss Radio and Sephora. Each episode features an inspiring, influential woman that has been a trailblazer. The aim of the series was to spotlight these women to inspire other female leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, creatives, and high achievers. 

The podcast worked so well since Sephora’s lip brands are popular amongst consumers. Through the podcast, they’re marrying a best-selling product to a feel-good, inspiring message. 

This approach guarantees that women will keep coming back for more – because who doesn’t want to feel good and listen to stories that encourage you to take on your day with confidence and grace? 

7. 2 Minutes of Zen by Zendium 

2 Minutes of Zen is a distinctly different created by Zendium, which believe it or not, is a natural toothpaste company. This podcast is a great example that even something as mundane as toothpaste can turn into a popular podcast that people tune into. 

Zendium’s approach is to create short guided episodes that you can listen to while brushing your teeth, with activities ranging from guided meditation to breathwork. 

It’s absolutely brilliant in its execution since they know that for the few minutes you’re brushing your teeth daily, they can monopolize on it. Their genius is that they don’t try to fit the standard podcast mold of 30 minutes or more. Instead, Zendium taps into its value proposition of being natural and going all in on wellness by creating useful content for its consumer as they use Zendium products. 

8. J&J Innovation by Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson’s focus on health and “innovation” is the perfect theme for their podcast, J&J Innovation. As a company focused on personal care, health, and longevity, it’s important that listeners feel that the company prioritizes these things and is a trustworthy, credible source. 

Johnson & Johnson knows that if they bring listeners along on a ride as they explore new concepts in healthcare it’ll lead to brand loyalty. Consumers will get a better sense of what J&J values and prioritizes. 

In the end, this strategy is good for not only J&J as a company (and its shareholders!) but also helps to move the needle on wellness for the world at large.

9. Bonus Entry – Why We Eat What We Eat by Blue Apron

Our love for food is universal, which is why this next podcast idea was brilliant. For those who don’t know, Blue Apron is a meal kit subscription service, and it provides pre-packaged, fresh ingredients and one-of-a-kind recipes for home-cooked meals. 

Why We Eat What We Eat dives deep into the history of food, the psychology of eating, why we eat, and the cultural relevance of food/community, amongst other food questions. These universal questions and what Blue Apron offers to consumers – fresh, seasonable ingredients and turnkey recipes – was such a natural connection and an incredible way to exercise thought leadership through a podcast. 

Note: the show recorded its last episode in 2017 but the concept, execution, and success of the show are still something we can all learn from. 

8 of the best branded podcasts and why they’re successful

So, there you have it – examples of companies that are using their brand to create relatable, engaging, and interesting content that keeps consumers coming back for more! 

And it can all start with a simple podcast. The best part is that the companies outlined here are from vastly different industries. This shows that you can make anything interesting and binge worthy (even a show from a toothpaste brand!). 

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