After a recent visit to the UK it was refreshing to see that custom magazines are still at the forefront of consumer marketing, with most high street stores offering their own high-end magazine to shoppers, even after a hard-hitting recession. Europe and America produce some of the world’s most outstanding publications, commercial as well as custom, and it is vital that the Middle East does not cocoon itself away from these expert markets and their constant evolution in custom publishing and branded content.
Marketing managers in the UK quickly learnt that a custom magazine is not a brochure, but rather a proper magazine. Though this region has finally embraced custom publishing, in the basic form of newsletters and branded magazines, the Middle East is far from being up to the same standards as some of the world’s leading custom magazines.
While consumers in the Middle East have to pay (sometimes ridiculous amounts of money) to get a reasonable quality magazine, shoppers in the UK have free and direct access to clever, and subtly branded, magazines that can easily hold their own on a shelf next to Cosmopolitan, Elle and Vogue, to name a few. When picking up a copy of the John Lewis customer magazine it was a relief not to have to see horrible low-res pictures of scruffy staff at random internal events with mouthfuls of food, or to read about “Suzzy” giving birth for a third time. Instead, from cover to cover, it had beautifully designed pages carrying high-res professional images of home interiors, fashion models, food and lifestyle. Stylish travel articles on new cool destinations, celebrity chef’s sharing top recipes and witty well written articles.
Jul04 | by Colour Storm