Monocle: Mr. Magazine’s™ Notable International Launch of the Year + An interview with Tyler BruleMarch 24, 2008
If you were told in March 2007 that there is a brand new magazine with a hefty cover price, ads from Gucci, malo, Cartier, PRADA, Audi and Boss to name a few, and no celebrities on the cover or inside, yes no celebrities but rather lengthy in-depth articles about serious issues, great photography and is mainly printed on matte paper with a Manga magazine insert, your answer would have been, “What have you been drinking?” Well, Tyler Brule was probably drinking that Clear Canadian water at the home of his aunt Anita in Toronto 33 years ago. He is the editor-in-chief and chairman of Monocle the magazine that defines itself as “A briefing on global affairs, business, culture & design.” Brule who started Wallpaper* magazine in 1996 in the UK, two years after he arrived there from Canada, outlined the vision, mission and unique selling features of Monocle in its first issue. Monocle will be “A smart, forward looking, single edition global briefing for a highly mobile, international audience,” Brule wrote.
His 10 points outline of the business plan of the magazine was also published in that March 2007 issue. Brule and his team decided the magazine should:
1. Be a complete media brand with print, web and broadcast components
2. Deliver across all these areas in new formats
3. Focus on global affairs, business, culture, design and the best products/services on the market
4. Be an oasis from celebrities and low production values
5. Champion fresh talent for both words and pictures
6. Look ahead, not chase the ambulance
7. Accept no freebies
8. Likewise, not be given away for free
9. Open bureaux, so we have our own people on the ground
10. Do our bit to raise the bar
A year later Monocle has been slowly but surely delivering on its 10 points promise and delivering well. While newspapers are closing overseas offices and trimming staff, Monocle is adding offices and expanding its staff on the different continents of the world. Brule continues to show the world that, on one hand, print is well, alive and kicking and on the other hand innovation in print is needed more today than ever. Monocle earned our first ever title of International Notable Launch of the Year. We asked Tyler Brule seven questions (the same questions we will be asking all the 30 notable launches of 2007). What follows are the Qs and As with Brule via e-mail:
1.What do you consider the single most important achievement your magazine has accomplished in today’s marketplace?
IT’S TRICKY TO SINGLE OUT JUST ONE BREAKTHROUGH. WE’VE DEMONSTRATED THAT FORMAT (TRIM SIZE, PAPER STOCK) IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER IN A DIGITAL AGE. AT THE SAME TIME WE’VE CHALLENGED THE SUBSCRIPTION MODEL AND CONVINCED READERS TO PAY MORE FOR QUALITY – MONOCLE’S SUBSCRIPTION IS 50% HIGHER THAN ITS COVER PRICE.
2.Looking back, what was the most important hurdle you were able to overcome?
CONVINCING LUXURY GOODS ADVERTISERS TO LOVE MATTE PAPER RATHER THAN GLOSS.
3.What was the most pleasant surprise?
THAT GERMANY BECAME OUR THIRD BIGGEST MARKET.
4.What is the biggest challenge you are facing today?
MANAGING NEWSSTANDS IN OVER 40 KEY MARKETS.
5. Imagine you have a magic wand and you can strike the magazine and make it human? Describe that human being.
MONOCLE WOULD BE THAT RARE PERSON YOU END UP SITTING NEXT TO ON A LONG HAUL FLIGHT WHO’S SO INFORMED, WITTY, HANDSOME AND CHARMING THAT YOU NEVER WANT THE FLIGHT TO END.
6. The number of new magazine launches has been on a steady increase. What advice do you offer to someone wanting to start a new magazine?
DO A VERY CONSERVATIVE BUSINESS PLAN AND THEN ADD 50% WHEN YOU LOOK FOR YOUR FUNDING.
7. Finish this sentence: in 2011 your magazine will be…
AN ADJECTIVE FOR QUALITY.
Congratulations to Tyler Brule and the team at Monocle from the entire staff at MrMagazine™. We will be publishing the answers to our seven questions with the 30 most notable launches of 2007 starting tomorrow and for the next two weeks. On April 5 we will announce our Most Notable Launch of Year in the United State from the list of the 30 notable launches. Stay tuned.