Print is All Ooh-La-La for Luxury Brands

When it comes to the luxury goods market, publishers are leveraging the value of print to reach and influence this very special audience, according to Piet van Niekerk in FIPP.

“FIPP and UPM’s latest white paper, titled ‘Luxury in media: How prestigious brands prepare for 2020’, pays attention to the €1.2 trillion-a-year (US $1.5 trillion) luxury industry, which is ‘all about physical experience, high-quality and impact’ and how printed products deliver on marketing respected products and services,” van Niekerk writes. 

“The white paper is the fourth in a series produced by FIPP this year in collaboration with UPM Communication Papers – one of the six business areas of UPM the Biofore Company. The first three dealt with sustainability in publishing, the future of media and innovation in publishing.”

 The industry itself is evolving rapidly, as digitalization connects us demographically and culturally like never before, van Niekerk explains.

“The emergence of a new, younger luxury consumer, with different desires and habits, is also changing the definition of what luxury is,” he continues. “To leverage the relationship with a new tech-savvy, young generation, luxury brands are starting to incorporate personalization into their long-term marketing strategies. 

“Despite the assumption that personalization would usher in a much stronger focus on digital communication with consumers, print remains a vital tool,” he notes. “The paper references the 17th edition of Bain & Company’s Luxury Study. The study finds that a younger, more ethical and digitally minded luxury consumer is not necessarily looking for substantial changes in the channels brands employ to engage with them.”

In other words, print continues to play a pivotal role in luxury brand ad strategies – in fact, luxury brands spend more on print ads than on digital.

There’s another reason why luxury brands find print so vital, and it’s all about brand signaling. Print has indeed become a luxury good itself in many ways, and that makes it indispensable for brands looking to reach high-end consumers.

“Luxury advertisers are taking note of this reality and continue to advertise in high-quality publications with good paper stock,” van Niekerk continues. “Even when customers prefer to shop online, advertising in high-quality magazine titles helps to raise the visual impact of brands.”

More and more lately, the talk is less about the death of print and more about print’s luxurious future, as luxury brands skip digital and stick to print to engage their audience. The high-end paper, the rich glossy, the gorgeous photography, the upscale content – luxury magazines have an extraordinary pull.