If print is truly dying then brands must not have received the message yet. Lately, it seems like there’s a new brand publication popping up each day. Are brands stuck in the 90’s? Some might think so, but the more likely conclusion is that brands have come to a very smart realization.

Content is king. As a marketer you’ve had this phrase repeatedly drilled into your head from many of the top marketing influencers, and there’s good reason for that. Thoughtful, unique, engaging content yields results. However, the digital media-space where content reigns supreme has become a bit crowded as of late. As Facebook organic reach steadily drops and companys’ digital ad spends continue to steadily increase, marketers are looking for ways to push their content out to their target audience in a space that isn’t so crowded (anymore). Advertisers are turning to print: the tried and true medium that’s been in place since Johannes Gutenberg introduced the printing press to the world in 1440.

Indeed, brands have started producing their own print publications with a new trend in content marketing known as passion publications. These publications are tailored to the culture surrounding the brand and target individuals who exhibit a strong passion for that culture. They often sit in homes on coffee tables or shelves as branded statement pieces that proudly showcase the owner’s interests. This trend isn’t isolated to any one industry. Everyone from global airlines to big-name startups are launching ambitious print magazines.

John Deere

Brand publications aren’t new. In fact, John Deere’s publication, The Furrow, has been covering the farming industry for 120 years. As you can imagine, the magazine has changed formats in its long run. What started out as a blatant advertorial shifted to something resembling the Farmer’s Almanac. Today the Furrow focuses mostly on the stories of individual farmers and innovations within the farming industry.

John Deere brand publication

 

With a global audience of around 2 million readers, The Furrow is one of the most beloved brand publications to date.

King Aurthur Flour

King Arthur Flour is America’s oldest flour company, founded in Boston in 1790. King Arthur Flour is a 100% employee owned company whose staffers’ lives revolve around baking, the way it connects people, and the social activity. In 2014, King Arthur Flour slowly phased out their newsletter, The Baking Sheet. The company was looking to find a new vehicle for communication to a key audience of passionate lifestyle bakers. King Arthur Flour decided to promote themselves as a lifestyle brand with the release of Sift.

Sift Magazine

Sift is a lifestyle magazine published by King Arthur Flour that features original baking content completely unavailable anywhere else. Sift is printed on heavy paper with glossy photographs and is chalked full of recipes and lifestyle features.

Sift Content

Perhaps one of the best aspects of Sift is that a large portion of the magazine’s article come from bakers and food lovers who are already dedicated customers/fans of King Arthur Flour. Each issue brings people from King Arthur’s online communities to Sift’s pages. For instance, Joy The Baker, as well as, Alexandra Stafford both authored pieces in the first issue. Alexandra and Joy are kitchen bloggers who are extremely active members within the baking community. Talk about great audience engagement!

Sift magazine

Sift is sold on specialty newsstands, in addition to the shelves of Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, and Costco. The magazine is sold for $12.95 per issue and targets young bakers, food truck fans, home cooking enthusiasts, and bloggers. The magazine speaks to people in a larger movement focusing on unprocessed ingredients and a clean eating philosophy. King Arthur isn’t the only company experimenting with this new trend either. In fact, Sift is one of a few crop of emerging print magazines aimed at targeted specialized readerships.

Red Bull

Similar to King Arthur and Sift, Red Bull produces The Red Bulletin. The Red Bulletin is an international men’s lifestyle magazine featuring sports, and stories from the extreme culture that the Red Bull brand has been built around. the-red-bulletinThe Red Bulletin emphasizes exclusive photography, illustrations, features, and interviews. The publication was originally created as a magazine for Formula One racing and was printed on location at each stop of the series. The magazine was so successful that it eventually became a monthly magazine with distribution in over 10 different countries.

Red Bulletin Content

Airbnb 

Totaled at 128 ad-free pages, Airbnb’s new print magazine, Pineapple, is a thick, glossy publication seemingly pulled straight from the golden age of magazines. According to the magazine’s website, Pineapple is a, “crossroad of travel and anthropology; a document of community, belonging and shared space.” Pineapple was created with the purpose of building a community of adventurers under the Airbnb banner. In creating Pinapple, Airbnb has successfully created a strong brand association with travel and great adventures.

Pineapple Airbnb magazine

So far only one issue of the quarterly magazine has been released, with San Francisco, London, and Seoul being the first three cities to be featured. The first issue was extremely impressive and it certainly paints staying at an Airbnb location to be more of a premium experience than it was previously viewed before.

Airbnb brand publication

The Benefits Of Passion Publications

Passion publications are an incredibly effective way to communicate to a highly targeted group of passionate individuals. Passion publications offer brands an opportunity to further develop their identity in a such a way that also brings in active participants from social communities. Rather than paying for a page within a magazine, companies have the ability to produce their very own magazines with the help of marketing agencies and small publishing outfits. Companies are able to create their own content and deliver their brand message the way they want to without any other outside advertising. Not to mention, that message doesn’t get lost in a clutter of social media posts and search engine results. With passion publications, a brand’s message is delivered straight to the doorstep of its audience where they’ll receive it loud and clear.

In the past we wrote about the benefits of print as an advertising medium. Being that passion publications are print pieces, passion publications contain all of the same benefits. In case you didn’t have the chance to read that post, we’ll summarize the points for you. For a more elaborate explanation of each point be sure to read our blog post on the benefits of print. The benefits of print advertising are as follows:

  1. Print is relatively easy to target.
  2. Print is a personal choice.
  3. Print is a well-trusted media source.
  4. Print is tangible.
  5. Print builds brand image.

Interested In Joining The Trend?

Considering joining hundreds of other brands in producing your very own passion publication? In a saturated digital media world, high-quality print magazines are a great way to stand out from the crowd and Tipping Point can help. Tipping Point is a full service marketing and advertising agency with a long history in print advertising. We’re well versed in all aspects of print and we can design and publish your magazine for you. We’ll work with your company to create impactful print communications that speak to your target audience. Feel free to peruse more of our print advertising work and contact us to find out what Tipping Point can do for you. Together we can accomplish great things.