Print is definitely not dead. But is it the right move for your brand?

08/14/2018

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m just like a kid on Christmas when I get a catalog from Cb2 or a new lookbook from Athleta in the mail.

Seriously, it takes window shopping to a whole new level. The level where I can sit on my couch.

Yeah, I hear you over there, and no, I do not live under a rock. I am fully aware that you can window shop till you drop online. My millions of abandoned carts would prove to you that I am no stranger to that life. But in this crazy world we live in where literally everything is digital, print has become a something so refreshing to experience.

Think about it… although most people can admit that reading on a tablet or ebook is convenient, I think the majority of readers still prefer to hold a physical book in their hands. Why do you think that is? It’s simply sensational. Pun intended You can touch, smell, see, and even hear the physical pages of a book turning.

 

If this is still kind of confusing, then think of your branding as Thanksgiving dinner or any other holiday that focuses on a whole meal. I’m not a big fan of Thanksgiving (for a few reasons) but I love all the food so let’s just use it as the analogy because it makes sense. Let’s say your logo is the turkey. It’s the main show, yes indeed. But the whole thing? No.

One of the reminders I have in my sticky note collection that hangs above my computer is ‘Do It Different’. To me, this is totally applicable to print marketing. If you’re trying to stand out amongst all the other fish who are swimming down the digital stream, why not try swimming upstream and invest in print?

For example, when I’ve got a million emails flooding my inbox there’s a pretty good chance that I’m going to delete the ones from retailers before even opening them. Why? Because of that, and thousands of others, are what’s between me and a cleared inbox.

However, when I get a mailer or a catalog in the mail…I’ll be honest I may still end up tossing it in the recycling bin, but before I do that, I look at. I read it. I internalize it.

Okay, I may be a little biased, but don’t take just my word for it. John Hinds, president, and CEO of News Media Canada, an industry research and public affairs organization, points to a 2016 study funded by Canada Post that looked at the neuroscience of reading print vs. digital. The results of the study found that,

“we read differently when reading something online compared to reading something in print. We absorb information differently and retain more when we read something on a page.”

So there you have it. It’s not just me. It’s science.

Okay, okay so there’s no doubt that print is an incredible marketing tool, but is it the right choice for your business? Here are five things to consider when deciding if print is right for your brand:

 

  1. Ethics

If you’re a brand that’s built around environmental responsibility and sustainability, printing thousands of pieces of paper might not be the right choice for you. Digital marketing might be a better option in this case. Or consider an alternative. If you need to print, chose a material that is either responsibly sourced, made from recycled materials, or 100% recyclable. (Same thing goes for any packaging).

  1. What is its purpose?

Is it worth the cost of designing, printing, distributing, or the potential risk of it immediately landing in the recycle bin? Make sure whatever you are sending is strong enough to make your audience actually want to read it. Chances are the rest of their mail is a bunch of bills, so anything that looks more inviting than that should do the trick.

 

  1. How is it connecting with your audience?

What are you giving your audience? Is it a coupon? Is it a freebie? Make sure it’s whatever it is, it is worth their while. Using strong imagery, copy, and clear branding will help draw in your audience and reinforce your brand recognition.

 

  1. Who is your target audience and what do they value?

Is your audience made up of old souls who can appreciate the classics? Are they young millennials who are all about fun design and hip language? Or are they a busy mom who just needs something that is to the point, and will make her life easier? Whoever your intended audience is, your print material should be speaking their language (and I mean every part of it, not just the copy).

 

  1. Don’t go it alone.

Print marketing has been proven to work better when coupled with digital marketing. This comes back to your brand recognition. The more your audience gets a chance to see and relate to your brand the better. Most people don’t buy from a brand the first time they come across their marketing material. It takes time to build that trust before they’re ready to start throwing money at you.

 

 

If you need help creating and designing your print material, or if you just want to toss around whether or not it’s the right fit for you, we’re here to help. Schedule a free discovery call with us, and we can work through it together.

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