Print publications are better at generating a sense of excitement, says Gordon McCreadie.

I’m sure, at some point in our adolescence, we’ve all owned something to create a sense of envy, intrigue or admiration from our peers – an item that was a source of pride.

We’ve almost all certainly also evoked the playground adage of ‘you see with your eyes, not with your hands’ after a particularly enthusiastic classmate asked to see it, with expectant hand outstretched.

While that phrase might have served a purpose in protecting your cherished or coveted items of yesteryear, does it still have relevance today?

In the digital age, is seeing enough? Or does print still have a major role to play in advertising and marketing within the travel industry, particularly when it comes to luxury?

Making sense

Sight and sound are the primary targets for most advertising, particularly in a digital era. But in truth, all of our senses play a massive role in influencing our decision-making, from the scents we wear to the samples we taste and, particularly, the textures we touch – even the spine of this magazine has beenscented with jasmine and lemongrass, to convey calm and relaxation.

We’re currently finalising our new brochure suite at If Only, along with our new Luxury Cruise Collection brochure, and I’ve never spent as much time choosing the finishes, textures and look of brochures. Foil or embossed, uncoated or silk, thickness of paper – it’s all being debated. There have been so many samples across my desk that I’ve tampered with more covers than Radio 1’s Live Lounge, all to get the right feel and weight for each brochure. Why? Solely to create something that not only looks appealing, but also feels like it warrants the value of the product inside. That’s the key to making luxury, well, luxury.

Earning trust

Marketing agency ClearB2B recently wrote an article saying digital is here to stay, but despite this, we know the UK desire for print is far from dwindling. In fact, we’re the fifth-largest producer of printed brochures globally, indicating a massive appetite for tangible marketing. A report in The Guardian in January 2018 signified the public’s caution with digital due to the ease with which it can be manipulated, with only 24% trusting online as much as they did printed content.

One of the things that sets the travel industry apart is the sense of excitement a brochure can generate. We all still love a good brochure, and sitting down with a glass of something chilled and the person you are planning to share that experience with sets the tone for your whole holiday experience. We’ve all been guilty of intentionally leaving a brochure out when somebody visits, and relishing explaining what we’ve booked. That can’t happen without making sure the quality of print matches the quality of design and quality of product.

Having everything accessible in an instant is, of course, convenient and saves time. But in the same way that using a Kindle just doesn’t equate to turning a fresh page in a new book, or even the smell of an old one, in my opinion, the brochure is here to stay.

PS: I lied about the scented spine. I just liked the idea of everybody sniffing the magazine, especially the online version.