I was in the supermarket the other day. The checkout lines were long, so I stopped to flip through some of the magazine titles. I eschew the usual suspects, looking for something new and interesting, something outside of my usual fare - which might include Vanity Fair, Metro Magazine or Esquire - all can be wordy and a little worthy but they have some visual panache as well. I noticed Porter magazine. 'Curious name…' I thought, then the italicised 'e' gave the game away. It is a publication from the website Net-a-porter.com where fashionistas can drool over the latest pret a porter fashion and spend their next paycheck before it is depositied. (Staying ahead of the game.)
The magazine is very good. It is not only a terrific representation of the online retail experience of the brand and it could shock publishers like Hearst and Condé Nast into wondering whether they need to move further into commerce - selling the goods they curate and feature directly to their customer base.
Net-a-Porter illustrates the fusion that's happening across industries - publishing, services, retail - pretty much any sector. I also serves to illustrate how the 'what' of marketing is being subsumed by the how - the user experience - being the definitive purpose of business.
We used to ask the marketing 1.01 question 'what business are you in? Now it's almost useless to respond with 'making great shoes' or even 'making great ads'…it's making great connections with users at every point they intersect and interact with your brand. You might make shoes today but find that's just cobblers in the near future when customers clamour for glamourous insider information about walking the great cities of the world…who knows?
And just to seal their position amongst A-List media Porter magazine enrolled Lady Gaga in the fine piece of content marketing above. You can't stand still in fashion. Come to think of it - you can't stand still in contemporary marketing.
By the way - content marketing isn't trying to hard-sell products in formats where duration doesn't matter. I'll talk more about content in coming posts. 'Like' on Facebook to stay posted. Better yet - join the mailing list. We were going to distribute an email newsletter but I think we'll go straight to a paper and ink magazine for subscribers - published every now and them. Sign up here.
For die hards - here's an interview with the team behind Porter created by the Business of Fashion site
This blog is a notepad of contemporaneous and sometimes extemporaneous thoughts about creativity, strategy and ideas.