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Always Thinking

We think (a lot) about everything from sushi to voter registration to SNL skits. Mostly, though, we think about all things branding and marketing. Dive in to some of our latest thoughts.

Print as Experience

Print is dead. Long live print! We’ve all seen that headline a million times. And for people in higher ed (and in education in general), it rings extra true. Love it or hate it, print lingers. Is it because academia will always lean old-school when it comes to media? Because educators can’t resist a book-like object? Because print equals substance equals “this is serious business”? Who knows.

 

What we do know is that it provides a different kind of experience. When there’s budget and love behind a viewbook or signature piece, when the creative team gets to dream a little, it’s a delight to behold (and to hold). Print delivers on tactile. You don’t have to be a paper geek to appreciate something that’s velvety and luxe, or unapologetically glossy, or borderline architectural. A chunky die cut. A mysterious vellum! We all have those sensory neurons and it’s fun to feel them fire.

 

Visually, print pulls us back from the retina-burn of too much screen time and allows us to take in imagery in a way that can feel deeper and richer. It’s also a contained experience. Whereas the digital space asks that we navigate without always knowing where the boundaries are, print puts us in the driver’s seat.

 

When you hold something in your hands – when you’re the one deciding if you want to start at the start, or start in the middle, or start at the end – you interact with the material in a different way.

 

As for Gen Z? Where print is concerned, they’re leaning in. And it only makes sense that the true digital natives would have some significant digital fatigue. They’ve been dodging online marketing their whole lives. They’ve grown up in an era when any opinion, any thought, any anything can be broadcast worldwide in a second. They’re looking for curation – for small batches, and, in some cases, a break from the noise.

 

As someone pointed out in the Booksellers documentary (streaming on Amazon, a fun watch), it’s the forty-year-olds on the subway who are on their devices. The twenty-somethings are reading books.

 

So. As we collectively emerge from our COVID caves, hungry to feel human again, think about not just your marketing, not just your message, but your audience. What you can do to surprise them. Delight them. Maybe even give them something they didn’t even know they needed.

Posted under MARKETING, LOVE

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