What a New Haircut can Teach You About Publishing
Written by Nxtbook Media
I was flipping through the latest issue of Modern Salon – because I enjoy hair styles and this digital magazine is chock full of great styles, hair tips, and products — when it struck me: creating digital magazines is like the hair style business. I can bring my iPad to the salon, show my hairdresser this page, and ask for the same style. But at the end of the day, I’m not going to walk away looking like Anne Hathaway. A cut and restyle doesn’t magically make me into the successful, beautiful actress.
Similarly, publishers can come in with their iPads and downloaded Wired app. We even encourage publishers to come in with ideas of new and innovative things to try. The deal is, adding features for the sake of having features won’t make you successful or the next must-have for your industry’s audience. But, like a good haircut, a fresh look can earn you a few extra stares. In a market where magazine app expectations are shifting to optimization and increased user experience, where the tablet hype makes it hard for some publishers to achieve differentiation in a highly competitive and fragmented business, it’s important to evaluate whether your company is simply adopting a new cut or if it’s getting the style that fits your publication.
So, by creating an app, are you simply adopting a new cut to create a starlet-look for your brand, or does the app and features work for your style and audience?
For example, a salon magazine might keep readers coming back by adding a slideshow feature with large photographs showing step-by-step instructions of a tricky updo. A mobile app enables readers to take your pages to their stylists (or coffee shop, waiting room, and bank line.) These features and products make sense for this kind of publication.
Something to consider: People look their best when their style matches their frame. It’s the same for your digital product. Get the features that fit the structure of your magazine, audience, and business.