Make Your Readers Happy – Forbes’ Not-so-secret Reason Why Numbers are at an All-time High

“Success stems from reinvention during periods of strength, rather than during distress.”

That, according to Forbes’ Randall Lane, has been a guiding mantra in the 100-year+ history of the Forbes publishing empire. It’s also why the brand is forging ahead with a redesign, capitalizing on everything there is to love about the print experience.

“In terms of reach, Forbes sits at historic highs: More people read Forbes in print (6 million-plus) than any other time in our history, according to MRI; more read (70 million-plus) than ever, according to comScore; Americans trust Forbes more than any other magazine or news source focused on free online journalism, according to Simmons Research,” Lane writes. “The perfect time, in other words, to look at ourselves and the world around us, and ask what’s next.”

So, what can we expect from this bastion of economic publishing? For starters, Lane says it’s time to refocus their curation efforts (which we know is one of the key values of a good print magazine – and one of the downfalls of digital publishing).

“Specifically, when you can receive an infinite amount of information on your phone or computer and then share, bookmark or link out of it,” Lane writes, “what drives a superior print magazine experience—something you would rather consume in a glossy, portable format than any other?”

The new Forbes will focus on “concisely bringing together a full meal of facts and ideas that contrast with the à la carte nature of digital surfing,” Lane explains. The magazine will feature content themed along common themes of what’s new, who’s next, and who’s doing things differently.

“The feature well delivers four things every time: a big list package, a definitive profile, an unexpected trend and a newsmaking investigation—the kinds of deep dives that excel in a print magazine. And throughout, we’ve sprinkled surprises on pretty much every page,” Lane continues.

Forbes has been vocal about their beliefs that print has entered a new golden age. Four years ago Forbes Media chairman Stephen Forbes was blunt in how his brand would approach publishing moving forward, blending old and new to make his readers happy.

“There is no right or wrong formula to take for [media organizations], but you have to be inventive as you go along. You have to embrace both traditional and new media,” Forbes said at the time. He acknowledged that print revenues at the time were “under pressure,” yet the brand was determinedly taking an audience-first strategy.

“You don’t have to be a great prophet to foresee the future, but you have to meet the changing needs of your customers. And you should do it better than anyone else,” Forbes said. “Part of this is recognizing that people do want to read evergreen magazine content in print, even while they engage via digital and consume shorter, more immediate news online.”

Fast forward to 2019, and Forbes is proven right. With readership in both print and digital at all-time highs, Lane explains they are modernizing the design of their print title “to underscore the luxury that magazine reading presents, starting with a cover that intimately invites you inside.”

I look forward to diving into the new Forbes, and will continue to cheer for the continued growth for this iconic brand.