I’m going to open this blog the best way a millennial knows how: with a meme.
Long is the list of industries that millennials have killed: traditional weddings, casual dining chains, mayonnaise, fabric softener, golf… the list goes on and on. But as a proud millennial (and killer of mayonnaise and golf), there is one thing that my generation has to thank for bringing back – and that is print.
While Baby Boomers and Gen Xers cling to their beloved Kindles and iPads, millennials are paying upwards of $10 to get our hands on a single issue of a niche magazine. This purchasing habit definitely isn’t good for our wallets (and is only helping us stay poor and live up to another stereotype of killing home-buying), millennials are doing our part to keep the print industry thriving and evolving- so much so that even digital-native companies are taking note and releasing exclusive print publications.
Which companies are making this switch, you ask? Let’s dive in.
Partnering with publication giant, Hearst, Airbnb unveiled the first edition of their print magazine in May 2017. Executives of the digital-native brand embraced taking their content to print in hopes that it can be saved, noting the quick expiration date of digital content in users’ news feeds.
While some print magazines are dying because of a decline in interest or readership, Airbnb is taking exactly what consumers want to know and putting it into a tangible, aesthetically-pleasing format. They’re able to take the top searches and trends from their website and implement related content in their issues. Seeing an uptick in searches for Airbnb’s in Nashville? Don’t be surprised if you see a spread on the best places chow down on some hot chicken in Music City in the next issue.
Admittedly inspired by Airbnb’s magazine, female-centric dating app, Bumble, took to the press a couple years later. Like their muse, the first issue of Bumble Mag was created in partnership with Hearst and released in the Spring of 2019.
While Bumble started out strictly as a dating app, it has now expanded to include the Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz modes to help users both make friends and network. But why print? Compiling a magazine gives Bumble a chance to answer users’ questions, promote other functions of the app, and advertise a range of female-centric companies – all in one bright and beautiful package. With content relating back to the app’s capabilities, you may find sections in Bumble Mag on what profile pictures perform best on the app, how to navigate awkward work events, or in-depth features from industry experts, to name a few.
Millennial-favorite luggage brand, Away, also took their talents to print in 2017, establishing quarterly publication, Here. On the same note as Airbnb Mag, Here showcases readers’ travel experiences and serves as a point of inspiration for those with wanderlust.
But this brings us back to the question: why print? Away found that the stories they wanted to tell weren’t readily available in traditional media formats, so they took advantage of this gap and started their own old school print magazine. Inside, you can find things like city travel guides, packing lists, travel guides from a local’s perspective, and photos to ignite your travel flame.
So, what’s the moral of the story? Print is not dead. And who do we have to thank for that? Millennials.
Just kidding. (Kind of.)
These cases shine a light on the importance of omnichannel marketing, especially in this day and age when nearly everything is digital. Just because you are a digital-native company, doesn’t mean you can’t dip your toe into the traditional media waters. Instead of shameless, mindless marketing, these print publications were made with the readers in mind. And while print might not be for everyone, these magazines help to bridge the experience of readers to be a more all-encompassing, seamless one.
Need help navigating the wild, wonderful world of omnichannel marketing? That’s where Team TMG comes in.
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