Condé Nast's Self buckles down on digital with brand redesign
February 19, 2013
Condé Nast’s Self is putting mobile, social and Web at the core of a major redesign meant to connect with digitally-savvy millennial readers.
Self has rolled out a mobile application that uses image recognition to bring static pages of the magazine to life. Additionally, the lifestyle magazine has revamped its mobile and Web site.
“The bigger redesign is about growing the magazine beyond the current audience and wrapping our arms around Generation X and Y,” said Lucy Danziger, editor-in-chief of Self magazine, New York.
“What is fun for editors is that there is no longer a separation of platforms – as we come up with new ideas for the opener page we are also talking about what the digital content will be,” she said.
“What we really want to do is create content that will bring in consumers across different platforms.”
The Self+ app is rolling out with the March redesigned issue and is available for free download in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
The app works in conjunction with the magazine’s new You+ sections, which includes beauty and fashion, health and lifestyle content.
On the opener page of each section, a printed icon indicates that the article is mobile-enabled.
Users can then open the app and hover the device over the page to unlock additional content.
For example, an article on the health benefits of listening to music is linked to a Spotify playlist with workout songs picked by Self.
Additionally, the cover story article about Julianne Hough can be scanned with the app to watch an exclusive clip from the actress’ upcoming film, “Safe Haven.”
A beauty story with tips on how to apply lipstick lets users shop five different products via the app.
“It creates a relationship between dynamic digital content that we have always had with the print magazine,” Ms. Danziger said.
“Our readers are extremely tied to their mobile devices,” she said.
Self is promoting the app with a call-to-action on the front-of-book page alongside the table of contents.
A blurb encourages users to download the app and includes step-by-step directions on how to use their mobile devices in conjunction with the issue.
Although many publishers are bullish on marrying mobile and print pages, consumer education behind the technology is still a problem.
In this case, Self is smart to dedicate a page that describes what the app does and where readers can download it.
Double-down on digital
Self has also redesigned its mobile, tablet and Web sites.
Self.com had 6.9 million unique visitors in January, which is a 50 percent uptick from December 2012.
Social also plays a big role in the site revamp, especially Pinterest.
Ms. Danziger said that approximately one-fifth of Self.com’s traffic comes from Pinterest.
“What is fun for the Self user is that she is using Pinterest to inspire healthy choices and looks,” Ms. Danziger said.
“It is fascinating because it says that we are serving up the kind of content that people want to save,” she said.
“The whole point is to start with the reader, evolve the process and get her to share that experience with other readers."
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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