Luxury inking – the love affair of lifestyle brands and print

Luxury inking – the love affair of lifestyle brands and print. If I’ve said it once, I said it a thousand times – as technology has morphed, changed and transformed the world – the lines have blurred between what is considered traditional and digital marketing. Today, brands rely on creating experiences, storytelling and emotional engagement to inspire consumer action. Online and offline have converged, and brands are searching out ways to disrupt, highjack and marry up with the new complex consumer journey. But they need to be much more seductive today to break through the clutter and connect with consumers – let alone get under their skin, build affinity and promote advocacy.

Omnichannel marketing is holistic; it’s about relevance, resonance and engagement. And within the omnichannel holy grail, print delivers luxury like no other medium. Not print for print’s sake, but print, because when combined with other mediums it delivers a deeper level of immersion. Curl up to it, embrace it, run your fingers through its silkiness, and get lost in it.

Print makes such an impact in the lifestyle brand market, that not only have luxury brands unabashedly launched many new magazines, but these beautiful books have also become the core of their marketing programs. There is a natural affinity between print and luxury. The very craftsmanship, nuance, quality and creativity that goes into a magazine, directly mimics that of a luxury product – yes, print is a luxury good in its own right, and the inimitable sensory experience of its medium equates to the supple leather of a Louis Vuitton bag. Case in point, when you purchase a piece of David Yurman jewelry, you go on to receive a series of well-timed, stunningly designed mini magazines – complete with exquisite photography, styling and substance… so appreciated, that recipients say: “it’s like getting another luxury gift each time it comes in the mail.” That’s why almost all the luxury automotive makers have magazines, along with the haute jewelry players (think Tiffany, Birks), airlines, hoteliers (think Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood), and, of course, the fashion moguls (Holts, Harry, Bergdorf…).

Furthermore, print’s authenticity is being sought by strictly online businesses as a way of lending physical embodiment to their brands. Think of brands like Net-A-Porter’s Porter magazine, Frank & Oak’s Oak Street magazine, Uber’s Momentum magazine, Air BnB’s Pineapple magazine, and even counter-culture fav, Red Bull’s The Red Bulletin.

Even our uber-digital millennials are not immune to the world of tactical experience. Although the Starbucks mobile app is the poster child for how to do coffee eCommerce right, millennials order, wait for the mail to arrive, and covet presenting their physical ‘gold loyalty card’ when picking up their favourite luxury cup of joe – a prestige badge of honour indeed.

Ken Hunt, Publisher of our lauded magazine Toronto Life (celebrating its 50th anniversary), maintains that print is in its own, cherished category: “Toronto Life lives in a truly multi-platform ecosystem, but I can say with confidence that there is nothing comparable to the power of engagement we see in print. If print magazines didn’t exist, we would be compelled to invent them to better engage our audience.”

Michael Chase, CMO
St. Joseph Communications


Posted on March 7, 2016 in Marketing, Technology, Trends

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About the Author

Michael Chase - a true hybrid – part futurist, part technologist, part data monkey, part creative director, part CEO (because you have to still think of the P&L and the EBITDA) and through and through an innovator.

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