Thinking of Brand Expansion? Read what the Food Network’s 100 million households wanted as a Brand Extension…October 9, 2009
A magazine. That’s what. An ink on paper magazine. Read on…
The prophets of doom and gloom were busy last week celebrating the news of the death of four magazines. In fact, some went as far as reporting the death of magazines. Yes, as one such prophet called me to ask about my opinion “now that magazines are dead.” Not one or two magazines, just magazines are dead.
Well, to use a famous quote from years gone by, the news of the death of magazines has been greatly exaggerated. In keeping up with my philosophy and promise that I posted in the beginning of this year, I will continue to report the good news of our industry and the news that celebrates our newborns, innovates every day and amplifies the future of print.
Food Network magazine is a great example of the aforementioned criteria. I asked Vicki Wellington, the magazine’s publisher two questions regarding the magazine and the category it serves: Food.
This new born that is barely one year old, Food Network magazine launched last November with a 300,000 rate base. It will celebrate a ONE MILLION rate base this coming January. Talk about amplifying the future of print. I asked Ms. Wellington:
SH: The November issue of FN magazine is more than 200 pages and carries three covers one for each food entry (main, side, and dessert)…what is the secret of your success during the period of other food magazines shutting down?
VW: Food Network Magazine launched at the right time with the right idea: we capture the spirit, fun and accessibility of the network and it’s celebrities – the rock-star chefs. We take an accessible, fresh and modern approach to entertaining, cooking, and eating, and it is all filtered through the lens of this diverse group of chefs, who give the magazine and the brand, an approachable, unique personality. People smile when they think about Food Network Magazine; it’s like a friend they already feel comfortable with and want to spend time with.
We did quite a bit of research before launching and knew what Food Network viewers expected from our magazine – they wanted a magazine that would be informative but not intimidating, offer behind-the-scenes info about their favorite chefs and shows, as well as great recipes, tips, tricks and news. The bar was set high but we delivered on their hopes: in less than one year, we’ve more than tripled our rate base and are going to one million with our January issue, based completely on consumer demand.
SH: Are we going to see more of the established magazines giving way to the new ones and what do you think is the future of new magazine launches?
VW: I think Food Network Magazine definitely changed the model for launches. This was already a well-respected, multi -platform brand with a viewer-ship of nearly 100 million households that felt passionately about it – and when asked what brand extensions they wanted, the overwhelming response was that they wanted a magazine! We did a lot of research and introduced two newsstand-only test issues, from there we carefully gauged consumer and advertiser interest, and we ended up beating every benchmark we set for ourselves in record time on both the circulation and advertising front.
Magazines need to find that unique niche and give readers what they want. A magazine with a new, unique point of view will connect with readers. And when readers are connected and responsive as ours are, marketers are excited to get on board.
SH: Thank you.
To experience the feel and look of the November’s multi cover click here.