Business

The ingredients to doing a proper Monocle relaunch.

LONDON — It arrives at your doorstep or in your mailbox in the form of a 326-page paper brick. It’s hefty, as a Monocle issue should be, and for the first time in a decade, it comes with some broad, sweeping changes.

We reported in February that chief Tyler Brule had been bracing readers for a major overhaul in bits and pieces sprinkled in print and radio throughout the month. It would, he warned, be quite different: Nearly 70% or so of the magazine would be changed.

And indeed with a heavier emphasis on politics, a larger fashion section, and a bigger push for a younger, ‘post magazine’ generation (but not ‘millennials’ in the sense you’ve come to know the term), there’s a new blend of grit, gutsiness, and panache to this new Monocle that’s encouraging to take in.

Leading up this however, was a very strategic, coordinated campaign on Monocle’s part.

The Monocle recipe to doing a proper relaunch:

  • The main course: Without the ten year anniversary and redesign, this campaign doesn’t exist. That said, while it’s important to get the redesign right — and you better believe Brule, editor Andrew Tuck, and creative director Richard Spencer Powell agonized over all the small details on the redesign expedition in Zürich back in November — Monocle is more than just the magazine. Community, and tangential products and services, are what bring the magazine to life. More on that here.
  • The crumbs: Leading up the Issue 101 (March 2017) Tyler left a trail of crumbs beginning in January, sprinkled across multiple Monocle 24 radio shows, in Monocle issues, and also in several sit downs at other publications.
  • The side dish: The redesign being the main course, a side dish or two is needed. For this, Monocle released a refreshed lineup of tenth anniversary collaborated product exclusives.
  • The reduction: Once Issue 101 hit shelves, Tyler did a recap of the magazine redesign for more context, on Monocle 24: “The Stack” (Monocle’s print and media radio show), and to further nail the point home.
  • The cherry on top: A culminating event related — but not directly related — to the redesign: The Monocle Media Summit just a few weeks ago. The event embraced the core of Monocle’s ethos: that print stays winning, and that (for publications) social media is not your friend. A big success.

This is all very ‘Monocle’: Smart, precise, polished, coordinated — and leveraging all aspects of the business in unison (print, radio, events, products) towards a single goal without feeling forced or ham-handed. A sharp arrowhead effect.

Fun financial fact: Tyler Brule’s ownership stake, according to The Australian (paywall): 85%. Which means, at last valuation in 2014 ($115M), when Japanese publisher Nikkei acquired a minority stake, his piece of the pie is worth, at minimum, $97.75M today. To answer the question whether a title can exist — and prove lucrative — without the crutch of social media, that answer is a loud, guttural “yes.”

Reporting Queue

Previous story

Ben Hedlund: "Greenwashing rightly leaves a bitter taste in many people's mouths."

Next story

Attention early-stage brands: There's a new VC firm you need to know about.

  • Dave

    Love Monocle Magazine