The pendulum swings back and forth as we discuss these two forms of publication against one another. Which is better?
Firstly, I don't see them as enemies. Worked properly and carefully, they are allies. They both build brand values in differnt ways. They have different purposes and should be treated accordingly.
To be featured in digital media is very easy these days. Anyone and everyone is being featured across a plethora of blogs, websites and social media. Your luxury clients are not looking for just anyone. They are looking for the brands who have the ability to achieve the most difficult of tasks, the brands with ambitions, the brand, which achieve. The brands who have what it takes to be featured in print media. The brands with true luxury at their hearts.
Lets look at the facts! There have been a number of surveys done by reputable organisations into this debate, and all of them point in the same direction. The most recent one was carried out by Freepost Press. The results are pretty clear and it may surprise you. Nearly 44 percent of the readers spent money on buying 1 - 2 print magazines a month. And nearly 27 percent of the readers took the time to download 1 - 2 digital magazines a month.
Now if we broke that down to simple terms. When we spend our hard earnt money on something, we make sure we make use of it. In this case the readers would read the magazines. There is research to back this up as fact as well. When we download free digital products, we don't have the same urge to open and read it all. We tend to say, oh, I'll take a look when I get some time.
Many researches have pointed to the fact that in this digital age, more and more people are making a conscious decision to take a break from looking at their screens and sit down to relax with something more physical. In this case, it's something tangible like a print magazine. More of us are relaxing away from our digital devices at every opportunity.
Now going back to my point of how the two can work together for your brand... Figures show that nearly 27 percent of consumers are downloading the digital versions of the magazine. Now even if only half of them read through the magazine, that is still 13.5 percent of consumers you would be missing out on, if you didn't participate in the digital world. So there is room for both. Digital versions have become a support for the print version, rather than a replacement.
It's the experience!
People like to experience things in life. for creative brand this is a cruicial point, which must not be ignored. Let me give a few examples to highlight exactly what I'm talking about.
Digital media equals the visuals.
Print media equals the experience.
So if you are a brand who designs wedding cakes, your brand images equals to the visuals and allowing your brides and grooms to taste your cakes during the consultation equals to the experience. Would you expect your clients to order their wedding cake from you without tasting a sample first?
Lets say that you are a brand who designs bespoke wedding dresses, your brand images on your social media and website equals to the visuals. and allowing your brides to try on your dresses and wearing it for a fitting equals to the experience. Would you expect a bride to order a wedding dress from you just from looking at visuals?
If you are a makeup artist trying to brand yourself as a highend bridal makeup artist, the brides would expect to have a trial before they book you. This is their way of experiencing your services.
If you are a musician wanting to secure exclusive events and weddings, your prospective clients would definitely like to listen to your music before they book you. And that is how they are experiencing your services and not booking you just from looking at images of you sat behind your intrument on your website.
It all boils down to the quality of your brand. Many people buy online from just looking at visuals and having no idea what will arrive in the post. But those consumers are usually on a strict budget and cannot afford to pay for luxury items. This is definitely not an option for luxury brands.
Ultimately, both digital and print media have their places and what value they can build for your brand. It's up to you as a brand to decide what level of brand you would like to create, it has to match the level of service you provide to your clients. The choice is simple. Low-end or Luxury!