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What next Economist?

Interesting dilemma for The Economist.

Their research shows that the typical magazine subscriber has an average yearly income of USD 175,000 and the average net household worth is just shy of  USD 1.7m. That makes it a very valuable asset for advertisers who are willing to pay a premium for the space.

Now The Economist is planning to widen its reach by targetting what BBDO calls the ‘Generation Whys’.

I see two risks there..

1. The Economist, primarily because of its content, has ended up with the subscriber base it has. So trying to widen its base with the exact same product doesn’t seem like a smart thing to do.

2. Widening the base necessarily will mean diluting the clear personality and image of the magazine. This can turn of the magazine’s current subscribers which could impact the advertising premiums.

An interesting problem to have no doubt. But the solution seems risky.

Would seem running a clever member get member program that tries to leverage cohorts would be a smarter way to build the base. Thus maintaining homogeneity of the subscriber base.

And as I mentioned earlier, if they keep the product the same a snazzy new campaign is not going to make too much of a difference.

More about the rebranding here.

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