Conde nast

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This morning’s news included a piece on Conde Nast shuttering 3 big magazine properties. The company lost in excess of $120M last year keeping print properties churning. Magazines have been under web attack for over a decade. Magazines aren’t in the readership business, they’re in the entertainment and enlightenment business. As audio and video production became more common, entertainment and enlightenment moved to the web, albeit watered down.

Conde Nast will get it right.  It just needed this kick in the ass. Content experts are content experts. Content poseurs are content poseurs.

The death of radio was predicted and it still reaches 93% of US adults weekly. The end of network TV was also predicted…nope.  

Sorry publishers like Conde Nast, Time Inc. and Meredith have bloody noses. But for now at least, the holding company approach has become a little zaftig.




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Conde Nast just announced its intention to sell its Fairchild Fashion Media to Penske Media for a $100M so it can focus on its core brands. References to core brands and core business is what you hear from companies under financial pressure or companies with slowed growth. There was a lot of talk about core during the recession. The opposite is growth into new tangential businesses. It is what really profitable companies do. Growth companies are looking for that next big business thing. They are investing in futures. Finding places to write down taxes. Google’s self-driving cars, energy initiatives and hardware escapades are non-core.

Brand planners love the core. It helps them see what a company does really, really well. It helps them articulate and cluster competencies. It allows the planner to plumb the depths of consumer resonance. Understanding the core is important groundwork for beyond the dashboard planners. Those who do planning that is future-based. Before Steve Jobs and team came up with the iPod and iPhone, they had to understand the core. Then translate it into futures.

There are rearview mirror planners, sideview mirror planners, dashboard planners and beyond the dashboard planners. The best are a combination of all 4 — but focus beyond the dash. Peace. 


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As I was graduating college my psychology professor suggested I look into “leisure time counseling.” “As the baby boomers reach optimal numbers in retirement they will be bored and need things to do” – hence counseling for those who unfulfilled and unhappy.

I’m reading today about electronic payment companies and a number of trials that allow consumers to use their phones to buy directly from codes on empty cereal boxes and ads in Conde Nast magazines. The words “instant gratification” appear over and over as the key benefit.  These tools are all about “buying” and less about “shopping.”

I’d like to go on record as saying that buying without shopping is bad for the economy, bad for consumers and bad for our health.  

The craft economy is an emerging cultural trend. Two things driving the craft economy are personal pride and preservation of the environment. A nicely crafted dinner, a well-finished piece of furniture, a thoughtful hand-crafted gift take time to create but provide much in the way of personal reward. Psychically and physically.  As for the environment, products that have great shelf life vs. products that go by the curb in 14 months are the new black. Well-built products that require some maintenance also fuel the America economy.  This isn’t all hippy granola shit this is a culture where people take pride in what they buy, consume, build and share. (Perhaps they will watch a little less TV, as well.)

Think about serving and fascilitating the craft economy and be early to market. Peace.

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Twitch Point Planning is a communications planning technique I discuss with clients to get them to “understand, map and manipulate” media consumption in a way that moves viewers closer to a sale.  Twitch Points are called such because today’s tools make it way too easy to multitask and twitch away from one media form to another.  Un-planned, this can be a bad thing.  Planned, it is a good thing.

I was reading about Conde Naste’s biggest iPad success today, with The New Yorker magazine. 75,000 paid magazine subscribers have downloaded the iPad app and 20,000 people are subscribing via the app alone. As one looks at the behavior of The New Yorker readers (the first part of understand, map and manipulate) it is clear that these readers are there to read. They don’t want to twitch away to Wikipedia to look up authors, or watch YouTube videos of punk bands inspired by the authors.  Readers of The New Yorker want to read and don’t care to be spammed away. So, here’s an iPad app for New Yorker readers:  automatically send incoming calls to voicemail.  Hee hee. Peace!



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