mr magazineHaving just watched a character called Mr. Magazine interview a handful of leaders in the publishing world, I noticed a common theme.  All believe that print is the foundation of magazine’s brands.  But, what is a brand? Jerry McLaughlin, a contributor to Forbes Magazine, defines brand as “the perception customers have about a product or service.”

Opening the video, Mary Berner, CEO of MPA – the Association of Magazine Media, stresses the uniqueness and tangibility of print magazines describing them as the “anchor of the experience.” Bob Sauerberg, President of Conde Nasté, stresses a brand first strategy. The foundations of his brands are in print. In fact, now is the time to give him credit for my idea for the title and of this blog because he was the one that said, “It all starts in print.” The final interview with Skip Zimbalist, Founder of Active Interest Media (AIM), made some good points about the benefits of niche magazine brands, and also pointed out that feedback from his existing readers is that they love print and are not going anywhere.  In fact, he stated that the average percentage of digital only readers is about 6%. And, he said those people are new to the brands and never subscribed to the print editions prior to discovering the magazines online. To view all the interviews, check out the video Mr. Magazine Presents: Bullish on the Printed Magazines here.

The key lesson to take away from these interviews is that print not only remains a vital life source for magazines available on digital and mobile platforms, but also is the very substance of how the brand is created and perceived by consumers.