This is the first part of a series of posts focusing on brand publishing strategies in the travel industry. Let's begin with private home rental specialist, onefinestay. The British company edits two publications serving different purposes called The Edition and Guestbook.
Onefinestay cater for wealthy travellers on the lookout for a prime short-term rental in London, Paris, New York or Los Angeles. Onefinestay target luxury travellers used to 5-star hotels who want to experience something different and live like a local.
Onefinestay have an interesting editorial strategy. They edit two very different publications which each serve a specific purpose while complementing each other. The first publication, Guestbook, is a lengthy luxury print magazine aimed at onefinestay's existing customers: the hosts and their guests. The second publication, The Edition is an online magazine targeting potential guests.
I think their editorial strategy combines print and digital in a clever way. Both publications are strong and help shape onefinestay's brand. They are often compared to Airbnb, 9flats and other similar companies. Having two strong publications will definitely help them stand out from the crowd to explain what makes them different from the others.
Your travel brand could also be a brand publisher. Bear in mind that it's a big project that needs to be resourced properly. Depending on who your travel company targets and what your objectives are, you can either have an online or print magazine. The online magazine is great to boost your SEO and help users unearth hard to find content or pages. Print magazines are better suited to building up your brand image. It's not so much about your services but the kind of brand you are, and how it resonates with your customers' centres of interest.
The online destination guide for potential onefinestay customers
The Edition is onefinestay's online magazine launched in February 2014. Designed as a destination guide, it is published once a fortnight and is available on the company's website. This publication is clearly aimed at potential customers as it plugs several properties you can stay in during your getaway in London, Paris, New York or Los Angeles.
What I like
- The print style cover of each issue of The Edition. Apart from the cover, it looks nothing like a print magazine.
- Clever way to strengthen the brand's SEO and push selected property pages forward.
- Great navigation. It's easy to go from one article to the other or simply go back to the main menu.
- Spotlight on things to do or see in each destination.
- Stunning visuals of the properties and recommendations based on the main theme.
- The Get to Know section always introduces a onefinestay host. Readers learn about the host and what they like about their house and lifestyle.
- Related stories for those who want more content.
The lifestyle print magazine designed for onefinestay hosts and guests alike
Guestbook is onefinestay's lifestyle print magazine. It is published quarterly and can be downloaded as a PDF or sent through the post as a print copy.
This 100-page publication is designed for onefinestay hosts and guests. It is sent out at the renters' homes to be left for the guests.
Copies of the issues are also stocked at selected local coffee shops, boutiques and galleries in the cities where the company operates. They've hired a former editor at Wallpaper to manage the project.
What I like
- Each issue of Guestbook is divided in three sections called 'The Salon', The Gallery' and 'The Snug'. it's a great way to get readers used to how you layout your content. They can flick through the section which interests them the most.
- The last section of the magazine, 'The Snug', is where onefinestay showcase what they've been up to over the past few months. It's not too short, not too long and most importantly, not too 'salesy'. It could be even better if they plugged in content from their social networks like guests' photos or testimonials.
- The overall content is less about the brand and more focused on the guests and hosts' areas of interest (art, culture, food, lifestyle, etc.)
- Guestbook clearly wants to play in the luxury magazine arena and it does it well. It's a nice way to build a community and establish the brand as a company that truly gets their users.
St Pancras Clocktower photo courtesy of onefinestay.