Monday, December 10, 2012

Brand Integration Across Platforms To Grow Magazine

In a move to grab more brand awareness, gain audience, and build a multi-platform position, Esquire Magazine has joined forces with NBCUniversal to rebrand G4 Cable Network as its own.  "The move is the first time that the international men’s magazine will debut as a television brand and will see the channel rebranded as a more mature and sophisticated channel, albeit one still with a male skew."  The cache of a TV brand and magazine brand working together could mean a seamless integration of content across multiple fronts, TV, print, and web.  Tactically making it work is another factor.

With a shifting older format, "The new Esquire Channel is expected to focus on lifestyle programming as well as cooking formats, travel and fashion series and the rebrand is expected to take place during the first six months of the new year."  The new look is a shift from the current G4 and a 180 degree turn from where the cable network started as a computer geek channel called TechTV.  Perhaps its only consistency is that the network has always strived to reach a male skewed demo.

For Esquire, it seems an ideal opportunity to extend its branding further into the digital age.  With video content from the channel to augment print stories, the value of the content can be nicely enhanced.  Few other magazine brands seem to be doing this.  Bloomberg's media empire includes a cable network as well and its magazine, Bloomberg Business Week, has potential to build out a fuller media integration plan as well.   Food Network and HGTV went the other root, building magazine brands from scratch to extend its video platform into print.  For other magazine brands, the timing might be ripe to find a cable network to partner with to build out better use and value of the content.

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