Luxury Regionals Having a Moment, Too

Luxury publishing is having a moment.

Earlier this week I noted that many luxury brands are skipping digital and sticking to print ads. As if to prove that point, Michael Dickey of Modern Luxury recently gave an interview with Folio’s Greg Dool. In it, he explained his company’s recent acquisition of GreenGale Publishing and their plans to expand their print luxury offerings, both in number of titles and frequency.

“Modern Luxury says it has no plans to shutter or even downsize any of the GreenGale titles it purchased, including those which formerly competed head-to-head with their new portfolio-mates,” Dool writes.

Instead, the publisher feels their newly-acquired titles will provide their advertisers unparalleled opportunities to reach those sought-after upscale consumers.

“We’re the complete one-stop shop for all luxury brands as they go into these markets on a national basis, and then on a local basis we connect business owners with other business owners in a way that national brands can’t, and [at a price] that most of these local businesses can afford,” Dickey notes.

In a time when mass-market titles are on the wane, Dickey says their brand aims to expand.

“First of all, we want to integrate and get the companies into one culture. That’s our top priority. As we do that, when it comes to the tiles we’ve acquired, we want to expand the editorial teams, expand the sales staffs, put them more in line with how Modern Luxury staffs its publications,” he notes. “So culture is step one, and step two is to increase the staff size in sales, editorial, and maybe some marketing.”

What’s interesting about this is how clearly Dickey seems to be able to articulate his brand and what it stands for. They aren’t looking to expand into a ton of new areas, but to expand their service in the key markets they already own.

“We’re not necessarily interested in going into the top 40 markets or anything else. Based upon where the luxury environment is, as retail space constricts, there will be more and more focus placed on those top 25 luxury markets [including Palm Beach]. We feel that we’re perfectly placed to serve advertisers’ needs in those places,” Dickey says.

Instead, they will work toward adding new titles in those upscale markets – special publications like weddings, men’s books and visitor guides – and publish more often.

Can the market support it? He believes they can, due to the brand’s commitment to creating a luxury environment for its advertisers.

“We feel that we’re perfectly placed to serve advertisers’ needs in those places. We’re very bullish on print. Thirty-five percent of all luxury brands’ ad spend is on print, which is quite a bit higher than any other retail sector,” he notes.

As for their native and programmatic ad policies, it comes down to trust, like so much in publishing does.

“We are a strong believer that we are a trusted source for our readers. We don’t want to try and purposely confuse them with content,” Dickey explains. “If we do run an advertorial in print, it’s completely stated up front, separated, and designed differently from our typical editorial. We don’t run it on the digital side because it’s too confusing to our readers. Once we lose the trust of our reader, we’ve got nothing.”

Know your audience, and build that trust – the cornerstone of successful print in the luxury market. I look forward to seeing this unfold.