Your brand needs a content strategy if it is to effectively compete and thrive in today’s marketplace. However, if the whole notion of the marketplace itself has changed, so that it is now an all-encompassing digital as well as physical realm, does this mean more traditional forms of branding no longer apply?
“For many, print is no longer near the top of their to-do items, or it has fallen off the list altogether,” John Bardsley, print marketing specialist with Heaton Press, points out. “But this underestimates the power of print.”
“Print continues to have certain advantages over its digital counterparts,” he suggests, “and for branding, these advantages can add credibility.”
Why is Print Radical?
Effective marketing and growing brand awareness means exploring alternatives. No single marketing channel provides the key to branding success, or will help consolidate a brand’s position.
“Just as brands must look at different digital channels, so they should look at non-digital alternatives to get their message across,” John advises. “It’s a form of offline marketing.”
“Where print may no longer be as powerful, nor as ubiquitous, as it once was for marketeers, it retains a uniqueness which makes it ideal as an additional or alternative channel for brands”
“If digital is the new normal, what will be the thing that brands can use to make themselves stand out from their competition?” John asks. “By no longer being a natural first choice, print now presents itself as the more radical alternative. But it is radical precisely because of its tangibility.”
Is Print in Decline?
If print is no longer the natural preferred channel does this mean it is in decline? Not necessarily so, says John.
“How do we measure print?” he asks. “If it’s by sheer volume that’s one thing, but if it’s by how people choose to use it, and what it’s strategic brand-building purpose is, that’s something different.”
Old can become something new once more. Just as in the print industry itself, letterpress printing has had a revival, so now in the digital age, print in general represents a viable alternative communication method.
The Branding Benefits of Print
“Print legitimises your communications,” says John. “It has none of the intrusiveness of internet pop-ups and banner ads. Plus, it allows for a more consistent application of your branding aesthetics, using fonts and colours.”
As a physical thing, print hangs around for longer, whether it’s in the form of a magazine, a business card or something promotional.
“It is precisely because there’s less print around that when you use print and do it well, it will stand out more”
This applies to ads in publications and to dedicated, branded material.
“Any marketing strategy should not focus itself exclusively on one channel,” John concludes. “Print is one more thing to explore, as part of an overall strategy.”