Saturday, October 31, 2009

Doin' it the old fashioned way

Meredith Corp released its financial results this week and restored my faith in venerable brands. I've found it useful in my consulting career to identify the marketing 'constants' that seem to transcend time, media platforms, and the like. And Meredith has shown us how to do it right.

You would think that the parent company of seemingly old fashioned brands such as Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle would be among the first to be left in the dust by the 21st century digital revolution, but the exact opposite has happened. Eschewing much of the flash and fizz(le) of the glamourpusses at Conde and elsewhere, they have stuck to their knitting and deepened brand ubiquity through superb database management and an unambiguous clarity about value and service to readers.

They have pared their costs prudently and steadily. No massive high profile layoffs and magazine closures for them!! There may be trouble ahead, but whatever angst may lie below the surface is rarely aired in the trades. Contrast this with Hachette, Conde, Time, and others who publicly alert us to the tsunamis long before they crash to shore.

Is this also a statement about Midwestern vs Eastern values? As a Chicagoan, I'd like to think so. Not to puff myself up but rather to express a little regional pride that the Iowans have taken Manhattan. The old fashoioned way. For now. Tip o' the hat....

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