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Custom media is a broad term used to describe print and other types of media that are designed especially for a specific entity with the purpose of building brand recognition and rapport with customers of that entity. Sometimes known as branded media or custom publishing, this approach can be used to provide media content to customers that helps to strengthen the connections between vendor and customer. The use of custom or member media is common in many industries, including travel, electronics, textiles, and other key industries with a worldwide presence.
One of the more common examples of custom media is found in the travel industry. Many airlines provide a privately branded magazine for passengers to enjoy during the flight. The magazine will often include special features written especially for the publication, such as profiles of various destinations, emerging technology that may be of interest to the reader, or even human interest stories that help to pass the time. The magazine will also often include advertising that is likely to be of interest to the passenger, along with information that may be helpful during the flight. Airlines routinely encourage passengers to take the magazines with them when they disembark, increasing the chances that the brand recognition will be reinforced.
Other industries also make use of custom media as a means of strengthening ties between vendors and customers. Manufacturing suppliers will often create customized magazines, newsletters, and similar media that are provided to customers at no charge. Doing so provides another way to get the name of the supplier in front of the customer and increase the level of rapport. Even utility companies sometimes use some form of custom media, such as an insert with tips, recipes and short stories that can be enclosed with the monthly utility bill, providing something that customers may find helpful or entertaining.
While print media is a traditional form of custom media, the advent of the Internet has broadened the scope of this type of publishing option. Today, consumers who are registered customers of a business entity may be able to use login credentials to have access to feature articles and other types of information that are not made readily available to others. At the same time, those registered users may opt into an email media list that allows suppliers to periodically send electronic newsletters to those users. As with the printed counterparts, the custom media is used to inform and to entertain with an eye toward strengthening customer loyalty and enticing clients to continue doing business with the suppliers.