Infinity & Beyond: Magazines Expand Their Brands
Events are a natural fit for a magazine about the gastronomic experience-if readers enjoy a vicarious tasting experience through reading, they certainly appreciate the chance to interact with chefs and sommeliers in real time, tasting their wares, trying out new equipment and attending food- and wine-related talks.
Most importantly, though, an event drives revenue through advertiser involvement. "It allows us to continually offer new opportunities for advertisers and potential advertisers-and they go well beyond food and wine to appliances, cruise lines and automotive, among others. People who are passionate about food are also typically passionate about other things and events bring exposure for advertisers as well as the magazine to a broader audience."
Dovetailing with the Food & Wine Classic, the magazine has also developed a partnership and licensing agreement with the St. Regis Aspen hotel to operate a Chefs Club restaurant, extending its Best New Chef platform-what Grdovic calls a "dream franchise"-to real-time diners, and there are plans to expand to Starwood resorts in other cities. Cookbooks, an ongoing relationship with Bravo's Top Chef and an upcoming Best New Chef line of cookbooks are other ways that the magazine reaches beyond its pages. "In the end you have to be true to your brand and your vision and have editorial behind you," Grdovic says. "If those things fall into place and it makes good financial sense then you will be successful."
Hearst Magazines: When a Brand Extension Becomes A New Brand
At Hearst Magazines, Mark Gompertz serves as creative director of content extensions, tasked with developing new revenue streams, direct-to-consumer marketing and product capabilities for the company's 20 (soon to be 21) properties. For Gompertz, who came from Simon & Schuster, where he worked to develop ebook strategies and enhanced ebooks, it's been an interesting application of his experience. "Up until a year ago, Hearst had never done more than upsell other magazines to readers. My first job was to look to the archive of content and see what could be repurposed for the bookstore trade," he says. That's led to e-publications such as a 2012 Thanksgiving cookbook sourcing recipes from across Hearst's multiple magazines."