In July 2017, Liberty London launched ‘Beauty’ magazine, distributing 75,000 copies to their most loyal customers.
The content was diverse, with articles by famous fashion writers, like Nicola Moulton, alongside a series of portraits painted using make-up products available in Liberty stores.
Some may find this investment in print unusual, given that the magazine industry continues to shrink each year. However, according to the latest figures from Royal Mail, 87% of people have been influenced to buy online as a direct result of receiving catalogues or brochures through the post.
Liberty reported an excellent return on their investment and they are not alone. Companies like Net-a-Porter, Boden and Sainsbury’s have been publishing their own print magazines for years. Written in a chatty, editorial style, they are packed with a variety of strong lifestyle articles, from the practical to the aspirational, alongside full-colour photographs.
Sitting down to flick through a magazine is a much more engaging experience than browsing the internet. Research carried out by Document Media shows that in-store magazines are read for an average of thirty minutes. Consumers are much more likely to remember and trust what they read in print, preferring the tactile feel of pages over swiftly vanishing digital ads.
Own-brand magazines are not purely concerned with advertising the company’s new stock though. These publications give a real sense of each brand’s story and ethos. ‘Edition’, produced by John Lewis includes articles about the newest gadgets and the ASOS magazine appeals to younger customers by the inclusion of interviews with actors such as Cole Sprouse and Maisie Williams.
White Stuff has even coined the term “magalogue” for their brochure, which sits somewhere between a magazine and a catalogue thanks to its large pictures and short paragraphs of text. The glossy pages featuring photoshoots in beautiful woodland settings cement their appeal as a playful, unconventional, fair-minded brand, offering readers handy sizing charts and competitions.
The number of catalogues delivered to homes has fallen from 19.6 billion in 2007 to 9.8 billion in 2016. However, the percentage of sales that they generated increased by 23% in 2016 alone, suggesting that the fewer catalogues consumers receive, the more they engage with them. Sending magazines out to customers isn’t just about sales, it increases brand loyalty and customer retention.
Pete Stead from Formgraphics Print sees the future of in-store magazines split between big retailers and smaller businesses like grocery stores, many of which are already using print to promote a healthy lifestyle. Magazines like ‘Beauty’, ‘Edition’ and ‘Porter’ in particular set brands up as being experts in their own field. They also help these brands to stand out from the crowd, offering customers a more profound and rewarding shopping experience.
More and more people are choosing to “unplug” from digital media. So while online content marketing still produces effective results, there’s never been a better time to add print marketing to your company’s strategy.
Written by Hannah Brown