Old is New: Tech-based companies launch print publications

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If print is dead, why are so many highly-respected technology and consumer product companies launching print magazines and catalogs? The answer could be as close as your mailbox.

Amazon’s Holiday Toy Catalog

The undisputed champion of online commerce is now turning to a time-honored print tool to rev up sales of holiday merchandise. Dropped in November, the 86-page full-color magazine is designed to awaken deep emotional memories and employ the powerful storytelling that one receives from wishfully thumbing pages of a catalog. Parents beware, your past is about to come back and haunt you.

Magnolia Journal

Imagine if someone years ago told you a small home-improvement cable show would quickly grow into successful marketing juggernaut — including the launching of a high-quality lifestyle magazine? The Chip and Joanna Gaines franchise did just that. The Waco-based startup is now a successful multi-media empire using the Magnolia Journal to expand its audience and showcase their unique storytelling products. And is the magazine successfully grabbing attention? Popular home-improvement stars Drew and Jonathan Scott, a.k.a. The Property Brothers, are now getting in the magazine business with their highly anticipated launch in January 2020. Obviously these successful marketers see the magazine formula as a fixer-upper — and they are taking their new products (and themselves) to the bank.

 AirBnB Magazine

Say you are a tech company essentially making connections between renters and hosts around the world. What do you do to expand your market with the ingredients already in your toolbox? Find a powerful way to expand your audience to new prospects, create an environment elevating your brand’s cache image and develop a new revenue stream tied to something beyond simply earning a transactional commission. AirBnB is just that with the development of one of the fast-growing magazines in the business. The most recent issue boasts of 144 pages of stunning photography, skilled story-telling and the featuring of advertisers who wish to reach the audience behind today’s unconventional travel set. One stroll through this magazine is enough to get you to go rummaging through drawers for your passport.

What is our takeaway? That print, if done correctly and creatively, remains a powerful and unique story-telling tool directly leading to action by the reader. People react to the visual and tactile experience of being exposed to print like nothing else. So when in doubt, look at how many of the world’s most successful digital and video brands are now moving profitably into the print space. Print isn’t dead by any means — and a good case could be made that it is simply entering an exciting new renaissance period.

Leonard Woolsey is the publisher of The Daily News in Galveston, Texas. The Daily News is a publication of  Southern Newspapers, Inc.

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