The great outdoors is where we go to face the elements and welcome the grandeur of nature into our lives. If we are fortunate, we return with stories that nourish us for years to come.
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful.’ What you’ll discover is yourself.” -Alan Alda
Escaping the city or suburban sprawl, even for the weekend, is a motivation in and of itself. There is also a multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation industry that uses media and marketing to promote the accumulation of goods that could be needed in the wild.
According to the Outdoor Industry Association, consumers spend $887 billion annually on outdoor recreation and create 7.6 million American jobs.
REI’s “Uncommon Path” Not Uncommon
REI will launch its first-ever print magazine, created by the same editorial team that produces the Co-op Journal and Hearst Magazines’ custom publishing division, HearstMade.
With this new magazine, REI wants “to help more people see themselves in the outdoors.”
In September, Uncommon Path will be distributed to REI members and will be available at all 155 REI stores and in select newsstands across the country.
Why Rely on HearstMade’s Publishing Expertise
To stay relevant, brands need to connect with audiences powerfully and continuously, through captivating videos, imagery and stories across every social platform. In 2017 alone, HearstMade executed nearly 300 robust and successful paid content campaigns.
According to their website, the HearstMade team obsesses over their client’s real business goals and then work backward to a creative and distribution strategy that’s built to perform.
“We’re seeing smart brands like REI take an innovative approach to content by building audiences with their own premium-quality, branded editorial products,” stated Brett Hill, editorial director of HearstMade. “By partnering with the co-op on Uncommon Path, HearstMade is helping bring that connection to life through a truly unique print product that fully embodies the belief that a life outdoors is a life well-lived.”
“Uncommon Path tells the stories of the experiences, events, issues, and ideas that shape the relationship between people and life outside,” said Ben Steele, executive vice president, and chief customer officer for REI Co-op. “But those stories aren’t limited to trails and peaks. They take us to parks and urban places closer to home, covering issues like climate change impacts that, due to dwindling resources and shrinking local newsrooms, are inevitably getting less press.”
A Magazine Is a Messaging Platform for a Brand’s Best Stories
John Deere, the pioneer in content marketing, launched its magazine for customers, The Furrow, in 1895. In the 124 years since tens of thousands of brands have followed the tractor maker’s lead.
The Content Council looked at the volume and type of content marketing in America and found more than 85,000 unique custom publication titles in the market. That’s a lot of content, all meant for a specific reader with a specific need. If you’re in the market for farm equipment, The Furrow is for you. On th other hand, when you are buying cloud database services, you might read Oracle Magazine, in addition to CIO and Wired.
Ads are disruptive and mostly unwanted. Meanwhile, people pay money for content that matters to them. The Red Bulletin from Red Bull, for instance, is a huge success. With a monthly print run of more than 2 million copies, the brand vehicle is available in four languages (German, English, French and Spanish), and is one of the most widely circulated international monthly magazines from any publisher in the world.