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Seven Questions and Answers with the 30 Most Notable Launches (3): Bond and Condé Nast Portfolio

March 27, 2008

Today we present two more 7 questions and answers from our interviews with the editors and publishers of the 30 Most Notable Launches. The interviews will be published based on the alphabetical order of the names of the magazines. Today’s magazines are Bond and Condé Nast Portfolio. To read a short profile about each of the aforementioned magazines just click on the magazine name. We have asked the editors or publishers to answer the same 7 questions. Click here to read part one, here to read part two and here to read our interview with Tyler Brule of Monocle magazine, our first international notable launch of the year. What follows are today’s two notables:

Lynn Tsutsumi of Bond magazine answered our questions…
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1. What do you consider the single most important achievement your magazine has accomplished in today’s marketplace?

Bond has succeeded in crossing all borders to be the first “exclusively inclusive” wedding magazine on the market to date. Bond appeals to the hip, urban, modern couple, both gay and straight and of all ethnicities. Bond encourages couples to think outside of the very narrow wedding box and to plan their ceremony and reception as an expression of their lifestyle.

2. Looking back, what was the most important hurdle you were able to overcome?

The concept of Bond was very new and difficult for people to visualize prior to its launch. Most people have a very traditional view of what weddings are supposed to be like and Bond was breaking the mold. We had to put out a complete magazine with our Issue Zero just to show how it could be done.

3. What was the most pleasant surprise?

The most pleasant surprise was the acceptance and embracement of the Bond concept from all over the world. We get comments daily from people from all walks of life saying, “It’s about time!” There has been absolutely no controversy about representing gay and straight weddings together. We feel like we are on the right track and our audience has been waiting for Bond.

4. What is the biggest challenge you are facing today?

Bond’s biggest challenge right now is letting the world it exists without a big marketing department.

5. Imagine you have a magic wand and you can strike the magazine and make it human? Describe that human being.

Bond in human form is intelligent, beautiful, multi-cultural and passionate. It is a unifier, not a divider. It is global, forthright and pioneering: a gay Barack Obama.

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?

Make sure to have someone with a business background on your team.

7. Finish this sentence: in 2011 your magazine will be…

In 2011 Bond and bondmag.net will be the ultimate resource and visual guide for modern weddings around the world. Bond will be the standard for non-traditional weddings.

David Carey of Condé Nast Portfolio answered our questions:

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1. What do you consider the single most important achievement your magazine has accomplished in today’s marketplace?


Portfolio has energized a sector of the publishing business that many had thought was moribund. By introducing a print magazine that made sense in the context of how people consume information these days, we’ve been able to deliver a new experience for readers. Building both the magazine and website simultaneously, we were able to demonstrate that “new media” can be print as well as digital.

2. Looking back, what was the most important hurdle you were able to overcome?


While the launch was intensely covered by the media, we were pleasantly surprised how quickly this new media brand was included in the small collection of mainstream business media. Just a few months into its existence, CNP quickly joined a short list of publications founded a long time ago. Add cultural reference pints like a quote on “Meet the Press” and we felt we weren’t just the new kid on the block, but part of the club.

3. What was the biggest pleasant surprise?


Given how fast business moves, some people at first couldn’t understand how a monthly magazine would work. But by collecting a diverse portfolio of stories each month, we’ve been able to demonstrate that deeply reported narrative journalism with big picture perspective has the ability to put today’s and tomorrow’s headlines into context.

4. What is the biggest challenge you are facing today?


While we did little to generate it, we benefited from a tremendous amount of media attention as one of the most high profile new launches in years. And that has helped us build great momentum with both advertisers and readers. Maintaining that excitement as the magazine matures and establishing the unique benefits of the product in the marketplace will be our biggest challenge in the coming year.

5. Imagine you have a magic wand and you can strike the magazine and make it
human? Describe that human being.


The embodiment of CNP would be a forward-thinking entrepreneur. The type of executive who might build a great brand from the ground up, take it public and then start all over in an entirely different industry. A man or woman who enjoys the intellectual challenge of business and who also savors the game of it.

6. The number of new magazine launches has been on a steady increase. What advice do you have to someone wanting to start a new magazine?

Do your homework and stay close to both your readers and advertisers. When we set out to develop CNP, we had a clear idea of the opportunity. But we invited both potential advertising partners and readers into the process. Intensive focus groups and research both pre-publication and between our first two issues yielded vital feedback that proved integral in shaping the product you see today.

7. Finish this sentence: In 2011 your magazine will be…


Continuing to explore the business stories of today. By then the technology may have evolved a bit since our launch and some yet-to-be-formulated brands may be shaping the economic conversation, but CNP will be delving deeply into the people and phenomena driving business.

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2 comments

  1. Bond looks like a fascinating magazine!


  2. Portfolio is an extraordinary disappointment. Slick and glossy, but lacking any serious depth or insight. Sort of Vanity Fair meets People for high schoolers.



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