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What Brands Can Learn From “The New Yorker” Magazine

07/20/2011

Since 1925 “The New Yorker” magazine has detailed life in and around New York City with terrific consistency. Over the years, however, the magazine has evolved. Topics and content have expanded beyond the East River. Outstanding writers have emerged, stayed then moved on. Subject matter for the magazine’s famous cartoons have remained consistently current. “The New Yorker’s” coverage of movies, the arts and even sports are sought by its roughly 1+ million print subscribers. And, of course, there are the covers. “The New Yorker’s” covers are legendary. Artists of all stripes have contributed art that occasionally solicits the rise of a single eyebrow by its viewer.

For me, “The New Yorker” richness is in its covers and the cartoons. As commentary on society, culture, economy, and, life in America – “The New Yorker’s” covers and cartoons are peerless.

So what is it that “The New Yorker” does so well and how can that be translated to your brand?

Content is King” – Every element of “The New Yorker’s” product is a quality extension of the magazine’s brand. Quality is no accident. But it is imperative.

“Innovation Creep” – Never stop changing, but evolve rather than re-invent. Don’t upset the fan base with wild pendulum swings. Use moderate steps to change direction in an almost inperceptable fashion.

“Take Risks” – Don’t be foolish but avoid complacency and boredom at all costs.

“Go To Your Audience” – “The New Yorker” has successfully integrated print, web and mobile deliveries to bring their product to readers readily and easily.

“Respect Your Brand” –  When you pick up a print copy of “The New Yorker” you know instantly this is a product of integrity. The paper stock is high-end, the color resolution is top-flight. And, of course, see #1 above.

Sticking to these principles has led to loyalty and engagement by its customers. The magazine enjoys an 85 percent renewal rate – one of the highest reported rates in the industry, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation. Mediamark Research Inc. reported that readers spend, on average, 81 minutes each week reading “The New Yorker”.

Follow “The New Yorker’s” game plan and your brand’s strategy is set for the long haul.

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