The Power of Print in a Digital World

the power of print

The Power of Print in a Digital World

By: Alyssa Grossman

At LaunchSquad, we probably hear the word “digital” upwards of 100 times a day (disclaimer: that might be an understatement). Digital connects us to one another and the brands we love. Digital means forward-thinking. Digital is the future.

Suffice to say, we’re inspired daily by the contributions our clients are making to the digital world. But we also have a soft spot for print, which is why we were particularly pleased to read this recent article in Entrepreneur (print subscription: 2.6 million) about what they considered a surprising link between print and the success of ecommerce.

In fact, eight out of 10 LaunchSquad employees agree that more digital brands should incorporate print into their marketing strategies. And with companies like Airbnb, Patagonia and most recently Uber using print in new and exciting ways, it’s a pretty safe bet that print is the way to go.

So how exactly does print play into our digital strategies here at the Squad? We asked the experts—team members who are creating and spreading not just via digital channels, but through good ‘ol print marketing. Here’s what they had to say:

It Forms Relationships Offline and Brings them Online

Renaissance Learning has created an online world where students can access software and tech to hone their reading and math skills. Still, for this year’s SXSWedu, the company launched the ultra-inspirational project A Teacher Like You and showed up to the event armed with postcards aimed at drawing attendees to the new site and getting them to follow and tweet with the hashtag #ateacherlikeyou. Print was a great medium for generating emotion and interest, and it didn’t stop at the postcards. The team also set up a photobooth with promotional messaging on the back of each snapshot.

It Reinforces Brand Aesthetic

Yeah, yeah. “Print is dead.” But how many of you still love the feeling of flipping through the pages of your favorite magazine? Reading articles and looking at photos online doesn’t have quite the same effect, does it? Few companies understand print’s power better than fashion brands. Consider how luxury ecommerce menswear company J.Hilburn leverages the power of print in their marketing strategy. With a country-wide network of 3500 personal stylists, J.Hilburn wanted to make those face-to-face interactions even more personal. By creating a print product to showcase merchandise, stylists were able to flip through pages with clients—a far more engaging interaction than pouring over pages of products online.

It Allows Brands to Share Their Stories in a More Dynamic Way

Why would an online-only brand seek a place on bookstore shelves? Just ask American Giant, maker of high quality, made-in-the-USA clothing. Since launching in 2012, American Giant quickly earned a dedicated following for their exceptional cotton goods, strong company values and dedication to building customer relationships. When they wanted to share what they’d learned with other growing brands, it became clear that more traditional forms of thought leadership only scratched the surface of what was possible.

CEO and founder Bayard Winthrop teamed up with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Randy Komisar to bring their vision and original thinking about the next wave of great brands to a very special place: a “p- book”. The result? I F**king Love That Company, 72 provocative print pages about the evolution of retail and the customer relationship, and how brands of today break through the digital clutter, make meaningful connections and thrive in a new world. Choosing to publish a physical book was certainly a bold decision, but one that has created a tangible, meaningful and more permanent piece of content.

It might seem strange that a medium as simple and classic as print could make such a big impression. Yet, in an increasingly digital world, its comforting to know that print has been there through it all, helping us tell memorable and lasting stories—no matter what new technology comes our way.

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