From the retail side of things, Barkers marketing manager Anna von Trott says 1972 won’t feature anything that the company wouldn’t enjoy reading or hearing about.
“We are committed to creating interesting content that our customers won’t get anywhere else,” von Trott says.
“We are more than just a men’s clothing brand now, with wider lifestyle offerings, so the magazine and our blog have to reflect that. We like to think that we are trusted advisors, whether it be about how to wear winter coats or uncovering new music or dining offerings.”
But magazines aren’t for everyone
Before jumping headfirst into the branded content waters, bear in mind creating a magazine – and even just creating interesting content – is no easy feat.
Greive says there are plenty of brands that shouldn’t produce a magazine, as they don’t have the appetite for the risks that come with it.
The content has to be intellectually stimulating and valuable enough for people to want to read it, he says, which is not something every brand has a handle on.
“It’s absolutely not for everyone. 1972 is emblematic of what we’d like to do, it’s a product which stands as a magazine in its own right, and the [Canon] nominations are a testament to that. That’s the kind of aspiration we have for our custom products - they don’t just exist for existing’s sake, they have a quality that is shocking to people for the format.”
For the less brave, there is a myriad of options out there in terms of content marketing: sponsoring interesting content that someone else has created in a magazine or online, or starting off by publishing a blog.
Social media is also a great introductory lesson on posting interesting content, as ramming direct marketing down an online audience’s throats is a great learning curve (spoiler alert: they won’t like it).
Sites like Tumblr are great for curating aspirational posts that aren’t intrinsically linked to a brand, but can help convey the brand’s identity.
With consumers moving towards preferring experiences over things, it’s becoming more important than ever for brands to offer something more than just products.
As Crane said: It’s all about giving consumers an experience they can’t buy.