British GQ has launched a new partnership with social music platform Vero, to increase engagement and bring its audience (and new audience) specially-commissioned content focusing on music and music lifestyle.
“GQ is always seeking to expand our audience by engaging with different platforms, Vero’s approach allows us to reach a new user who fits well with our existing audience base,” said Vanessa Kingori, publishing director of British Vogue. “Music is the combined passion of both of our brands, so a natural subject to underpin our collaboration.”
The aim of the content partnership is to engage a new audience. “Music is a lifestyle area that always resonates well with our audience,” she said. “Currently GQ does not have a specific home for our wealth (of) music related content, Vero provides this, the funnel to GQ’s world of music.”
The partnership will run throughout 2018, and introduce a new audience to GQ’s entertaining and compelling content, with behind-the-scenes images, videos of high-profile talent, and recommendations from top artists and musicians.
Content on the platform will be a cross-section of different types of content, which highlights how music touches all key elements of the GQ lifestyle, Kingori explained. “Video, playlists, predominantly new content which will be explored in more depth on GQ.co.uk with some GQ archive element too. A window into GQ’s varied musical tastes,” she said.
The current GQ editorial team will create content for the Vero platform and GQ’s existing social platforms, with new hire Kathleen Johnston, British GQ’s new social content editor. “Kathleen will be generating content herself from the various gigs and performances she attends,” Kingori said. “She will also reflect the interests and experiences of the wider GQ editorial team. This will be truly authentic GQ content.”
The partnership follows an earlier collaboration in 2016 between GQ and Oliver Spencer, which allowed fans of the designer to order merchandise directly from Oliver Spencer's Vero profile. “We have worked with Vero in the past collaborating with Oliver Spencer on a shoppable fashion show which creates a great response for all,” said Vanessa Kingori, publishing director of British Vogue. “This really highlighted Vero’s commerce functionality and offered our existing GQ audience a point of excitement which was new and a one off.”
Vero, as a platform, provides British GQ’s audience with increased choice within the existing social media sphere, Kingori continued. “GQ men are discerning, they enjoy the ability to tailor all aspects of their lifestyle to suit their own needs and taste. This is true of the social domain just as it is true that some GQ men choose to shop on Savile Row and some will choose to buy Hugo Boss, some Off White,” she explained. “We represent all of these options beautifully across the GQ portfolio. Highlighting the option of a different type of social media network, without algorithms, plays into the same service. It’s one of the reasons GQ is so highly valued by our audience.”
GQ, often a byword for men's style, is known for its urbane and upscale features and photography. In 2016, it had a readership of 451,000, as recorded by NRS, and a combined digital and print circulation of 114,035 according to ABC.
Partnerships like British GQ’s with Vero are important, Kingori said. “They are an organic way of building GQ’s audience and continue to reinforce GQ’s move from a magazine brand to a multimedia brand adaptable across many platforms,” she explained. “It’s vital that we continue to share this message with the right partners such as Vero.”
For FIPP members looking to invest in partnerships, to build audience and engagement, Kingori suggests looking at and working with brands who truly understand a media brand’s DNA. “From these foundations, great things can be achieved,” she said.
Investing in strategic partnerships like this, are happening across the magazine media ecosystem, to the benefit of both partners. It’s a great way for newer brands to build profile and community, Kingori said. “GQ’s brand endorsing power is second to none. Projects such as these borrow the long-established trust in GQ to boost synergistic collaborations,” she said. “I have no doubt that with the strong level of collaboration between Vero and GQ that this will be a lasting and mutually enhancing project.”
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