What do top brands such as Ikea, Apple, Waitrose KFC, and Nivea all have in common?

The era of digital-only marketing has well and truly come to an end. In contrast to the panicked scramble online, the medium that is re-gaining attention is print.

Gemini Print Marketing Director Suzanne Heaven confirmed: “the difference nowadays is the strategy setting, planning, design standards, audience targeting and focus on the quality standards that will achieve response and results when preparing for print.”

Brands such as Harley-Davidson use print to engage with the worldwide Harley Owners Group (HOG) community of riders while Waitrose spotted that in a world of screen time saturation and choice overload it is the printed message that has the power to be most disruptive and – counter-intuitively – digitally integrated marketing channel.  Other examples include Nivea launching an anti-wrinkle product for men, Nestle with a direct-mailer communicating the “chunkiness” of their Chunky Kit Kat, and  Da Vere Hotels to promote ‘A Season of Celebration.’

Even the worlds biggest brands known for being ‘online giants’, e.g. Facebook, Amazon and Google, have now recognised how print grabs attention and engagement.  Facebook launched Grow magazine aimed at key business decision-maker targets while Amazon mailed printed catalogues, and Google continues to use printed communication to motivate Adword activity – all recognising that the credibility, authority and trust in print contrasts effectively with the overcrowding of online fake news, scams and sheer ‘screen fatigue’.  Apple uses the worlds top fashion magazines to promote new phones to align its brand with the best of elegance and style.  When brands need to apologise there are many examples of shamefaced companies using the respectability and permanence of print-based campaigns.

Almost two-thirds of the UK branches of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) remained closed when operational, and supply chain problems resulted in delivery failures of chicken in February 2018, so they launched an award-winning ‘cheeky’ and irreverent print campaign introducing the FCK bucket by simply rearranging the brand letters!

Some people are referring to the trend of digital founded companies turning to print as reverse publishing.’  With a global user audience of 150M people Netflix are rumoured to be launching a quarterly magazine aimed to highlight the quality and quantity of Netflix produced content targeted at the Hollywood influencers ahead of key award ceremonies, while Airbnb created a magazine to promote the link between travel and inclusion “celebrating humanity across borders, time zones, languages and skin tones”.  Reverse publishing is aimed to achieve the ‘stronger bond’ that is created with a print reader to enhance a brand.

An article by Sam Upton published by Two Sides highlights the value that successful retail brands like Ikea are placing on paper and print :

“The first couple of weeks of September is a momentous time in the lives of millions of homeowners around the world. Whether they want to completely redesign their homes, installing new kitchens or bathrooms, or just want a few extra bits of storage, early September marks a new beginning thanks to the arrival of the print version of the world’s most popular catalogue.

The moment the IKEA print catalogue drops in the furniture brand’s 424 stores across the world marks an annual triumph for print – 180 million copies, 283 pages, 72 different versions, 29 different languages. IKEA understands that the catalogue is their single most important piece of marketing – that’s why they devote 70% of their marketing budget to it.

People have a ‘magazine momentʼ with the catalogue,” said IKEA Group Catalogue Leader Tanja Dolphin recently. “Sitting with a cup of tea, at home, touching the paper.”

Assembling the print-online relationship

Alongside flatpack furniture, Allen keys and meatballs, IKEA is known for their innovation when it comes to print. Whether it’s the augmented reality content of their 2014 catalogue or the personalised covers of their 2017 publication, they understand the importance of bringing together the worlds of print and online.”

A new section on the Gemini Print website https://www.gemini-print.co.uk/services/interactive-print/  introduces some simple ideas to integrate the power of print with your digital or online activity.

Whether your business is large or small, you can gain from the experience and examples of top brands by simply having a chat with a Gemini Print consultant. Contact Marketing Director Suzanne Heaven or Development Director Paul Crimmen. You can call 01273 086 206 – the team look forward to helping you.