Uniqlo is using a magazine to raise brand awareness. LifeWear is the Japanese clothing company’s twice-a-year print magazine, and has a circulation of 1.5 million, reports my alma mater, Modern Retail.
Printed in English and Japanese, the magazine is a brand publication that focuses on interviews, features and photo spreads – all through the lens of Uniqlo’s product philosophy. It has a staff of four and the magazine is typically distributed via its stores in the U.S. and Japan, as well as at other venues, like the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Print is an interesting choice for the retailer. As we reported a few weeks ago, it’s becoming a popular medium for brand publishers who want to tell longer stories. Netflix has Queue, for example, which publishes both online and as a $15-an-issue journal, and IPG-owned Huge publishes its own print magazine called “Huge Moves.”
Speaking on last week’s episode of the brand publishing show, Huge’s editor-in-chief, Jennifer Leigh Parker, said that print was a deliberate choice for the company, as it allowed them to “reject what’s happening to us, which is kind of the dumbing down of our content based on internet traffic.”
Why design agency Huge created a magazine
Other than investing heavily in print, Huge is among a growing number of brands are touting editorially independent publications as a key part of their marketing strategies. For these companies, building journalistically driven publications is the best way to draw audiences – by serving them truly valuable content that entertains or educates them.
“Huge Moves” focuses on the narratives that will transform creative businesses, and is created by Parker, who is trying to build an independent newsroom inside the agency’s four walls. We spoke with Parker, a Bloomberg and Forbes veteran, on this week’s episode of the Brand Publishing Show.
As challenging economic conditions persist, brand publishers say they’re focusing more than ever on flexibility, in part to dial their costs up and down quickly.
Flexibility is hard to come by in publishing endeavors since it’s not a discipline that lends itself to quick changes. Brand publishing often relies on robust and thoughtful staffing, and often only pays dividends a few months, or even years, after a strategy is first launched or put into the market.
That reality is forcing brand publishers to take more malleable approaches to what they do. “At the end of the day, I work for a marketing organization,” said one editorial director recently. “So if they’re asking me to find ways to cut cost and the wider operation remains, I am ready to.”
Also worth noting:
- Interesting little pickle here: Barstool is now wholly owned by Penn, but many of its key personalities aren’t considered “employees” of the company, including founder Dave Portnoy. That’s because employees can’t bet on their own sportsbooks in multiple jurisdictions, and big-name Barstool personalities are a key part of Penn’s strategy to acquire customers in the U.S. Classifying them as non-employees is one way around this.
- BuzzFeed is asking its reporters to write more articles in an effort to grow traffic as the company’s news division faces revenue declines.
- AllBirds is exploring using AI for content creation, although its CMO says it’s still pretty early days.
- Airbnb is “winning” the marketing war in its category, says Skift. The company has been going against the grain to spend more money on “brand” advertising (including content), even amid periods of slow growth, and has seen it pay off.