After cleaning out my office recently, I came across copies of Chanel and Hermes magazines that I had stashed away from my NYC days. Once again, I was struck by the beautiful presentation of each publication: Stunning photography, interesting articles about the history of the company, profiles of its craftsmen, and features on art were all enclosed within a captivating cover.
For dedicated customers, receiving one of these publication was like getting a little gift. But the importance for the company was that the magazine visually told the story of the house's vision for the season and served to educate its clients. No expense was spared; from booking famous photographers and stylists to printing on high quality paper, everything emphasized the brand's point-of-view and kept its audience engaged.
In a nutshell: These magazines were original content.
Interestingly, Robin Mellery-Pratt wrote in the Business Of Fashion last week that catalogues - which function like a kind of magazine - are still a business tool for many brands, sighting J Crew and Neiman Marcus as just two retailers who rely on them to drive consumers to purchase online. And that makes sense; at a time when companies can easily have a one-to-one relationship with their audience, if you're not telling your brand story to your clients then you're allowing someone else to do it for you.