Kelly Grindle, Director

Bauer Closure: Promoting lifestyle brands with less lifestyle media

New Zealand’s biggest magazine and lifestyle media outlet, Bauer, have permanently shut their doors - ceasing all operations in Aotearoa.

During recent years Bauer has been our single biggest media house – the culmination of merging and acquisitions of previous media houses such as ACP Magazines and Pacific Magazines.

It means we no longer have New Zealand produced lifestyle titles such as NZ Woman’s Day, NZ Woman’s Weekly, Fashion Quarterly, Metro, Listener, Kia Ora, North and South and many more.

I imagine we will see further movement and consolidation off the back of this. Horton Media is already looking through the publishing stable, and there may be other buyers out there. Other titles may become Australasian titles.

But the biggest challenge this provides brands with is how to enforce your status as a lifestyle brand without as much lifestyle media? Whilst there is other lifestyle media in New Zealand, the closure of Bauer should make all marketers and comms professionals shift their thinking and marketing strategy.

At Pead, we work to create reputations through brand recognition. We would encourage lifestyle clients who traditionally played in the magazine space to consider the following:

  1. There is a growing importance to supercharge your own social channels and content strategies, to become a publisher of great content in your own right.
     
  2. The closure of Bauer will lead to a further explosion in social influencers – and highlight the importance of influencers and ambassadors in brand positioning.
     
  3. Brand experiences and sponsorships will be crucial – although the amplification channels for these events will be more digitally-led.
     
  4. There will be a consolidation and evolution of other media titles as a result – arguably more readership (and supplements) in titles like Sunday Star-Times and New Zealand Herald, which you need to retain a strong media relations programme for.

These are uncertain times for the world. As COVID wreaks havoc on the industry, it’s important for brands to stay ahead of the curve - to embrace innovation and adapt to change. At Pead, we’re on the pulse of these developments and are already working to help our brands capitalise in this forever shifting landscape.

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