Content Demand Goes Beyond Platforms

Larry Kramer is the Founder and Former CEO of Marketwatch.com (NASDAQ:NWSA). He was the first president of CBS Digital (NYSE:CBS) and sits on the Boards of Discovery Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA), American Media Inc., Freedom Communications, Inc., Answers Corp., Black Arrow Inc., and Harvard Business School Publishing. He is the author of the book C-Scape: Conquer the Forces Changing Business Today and runs a blog by the same name.

Don’t count out the continuing power of traditional media, especially when it comes to building a brand. And don’t be surprised when new Digital Brands start to move on to older platforms, like Print or Television.

At Conde Nast one of the more interesting decisions a decade ago was to build a fashion website that didn’t use its existing fashion brands, like Vogue or Glamour. The idea around Style.com was that while content from those brands could be helpful, the web actually represented a younger audience that might want to identify with its own brand rather than one that attracted older readers in print.

Despite criticism that they were “wasting” great brand value by not using their existing brand names on the web, what Conde Nast did was truly build a content platform that attracted a younger audience, one that was very loyal and remarkably engaged.

Now that Vogue and the other brands have begun to extend their brand on to the web, Style.com is free to go in the other direction. They have decided to leverage their brand and audience into a print product. It’s a logical step and is just as important to its brand as it is for Vogue to get into digital platforms. All media brands have to think about all platforms.

What is unique about this is that it is one of the first purely digital brands that is extending into print. It won’t be the last. Some topics, particularly those like fashion or design, lend themselves to print. Similarly, expect more Conde Nast extensions into television now that they have created a video division in California.

Larry Kramer is the Founder and Former CEO of Marketwatch.com (NASDAQ:NWSA). He was the first president of CBS Digital (NYSE:CBS) and sits on the Boards of Discovery Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA), American Media Inc., Freedom Communications, Inc., Answers Corp., Black Arrow Inc., and Harvard Business School Publishing. He is the author of the book C-Scape: Conquer the Forces Changing Business Today and runs a blog by the same name.