When your core audience’s main source of interest changes from automotive to grooming and fashion, it takes some sure-footed brand management to keep your head in the game.
That’s just what Rodale’s Men’s Health has done over the course of its 25-year run. And it’s paying off, according to Bill Mickey of Folio.
Mickey describes the challenges faced by publisher Ronan Gardiner and editor-in-chief Bill Phillips as they launched a long-shot, at a time when men were not nearly as engaged in their health or their families.
“Twenty-five years later, the magazine is boasting one of its best sales years: Up 25 percent in pages over 2012, up 20 percent in digital advertising revenues, 11 million monthly uniques and a burgeoning event franchise anchored by its new Urbanathlon endurance race, which is attracting upwards of 8,000 participants in multiple cities.”
Mickey asks the two how the brand has managed to evolve with their audience, as interests and issues have changed so dramatically in the past quarter decade.
Gardiner recalls, “…five years ago, I remember sitting in front of the Krafts and the Unilevers and the General Mills of this world and the target at that time was exclusively female. It was women, moms and kids. Little kids were given more credit for food purchases and choice than men were. Today, I think food marketers are waking up to the growing influence of men. Increasingly that is creating opportunities for Men’s Health.”
They’ve certainly taken advantage of those opportunities, and advertisers have taken note – food is their third largest category of ad revenue, topped only by fashion and grooming.
It’s a great example of how a brand can stay true to itself while it adapts to the changes in its readership. Men’s Health looks ready for the next 25!