Well hello, Roger.
Federer, that is. The tennis star graces the pages of the new print magazine from fashion retailer Uniqlo, scheduled to drop in stores in September. And he looks mighty comfortable doing so, in his role as the company’s global brand ambassador.
“A 120-page magazine that will be available for free in stores next month when the fall collection comes is dubbed LifeWear, also how the company refers to its apparel, and shows off only Uniqlo product, its paid ambassadors and its customers,” writes Kali Hays in Women’s Wear Daily.
Why are so many retailers turning to print? Because selling products just isn’t enough. Today’s savvy brands are selling a lifestyle. And there is no better way to engage your audience in that lifestyle than in a glossy, physical print magazine.
“Uniqlo’s magazine, about a million copies of which are being printed in English and Japanese, is meant to embody the “mission” of the company — to enhance people’s daily lives with Uniqlo products,” Hays continues, confirming that the brand is embracing print’s roles as a lifestyle enhancer.
“By consuming this type of content while experiencing the actual product first-hand in store,” Suzanne Seymour, Uniqlo’s U.S. head of marketing, explained, “we provide the customer with something multisensorial that crystallizes the quality and craftsmanship of our apparel in an immersive way.”
It’s a smart strategy. Not only does the lifestyle angle make perfect sense, but the sensory experience of print really does spark deeper engagement in our brains.
Will it work? Seriously, it’s already working. Just from reading Hays post, I’ve already cemented Roger with Uniqlo in a highly tangible way, after seeing that logo countless times on his tennis togs. In the same way, anyone who sees that magazine in stores (they are printing a million of them), will make a concrete connection to the brand, regardless of how many other brands they might browse by.
While digital marketing can be seen as the great equalizer, allowing any brand to compete online, print is the great differentiator. By committing to print, brands can take engagement to the next level, and their audience will notice.
Nicely played, Uniqlo. Nicely played.