From the living and lifestyle magazine to the living collection
The readers of "Schöner Wohnen" and "Couch" are interested in the themes of living and interiors. They are interested in new design trends and show their homes in their communities. In close proximity with their readership, it is easy for both brands to develop a sense for their needs and wishes.
The magazine "Schöner Wohnen" has already been working with licensing partners since 2002 for this reason. Thus, a broad spectrum of wall paints, modern wallpapers, contemporary tiles, cosy flooring and various textiles have arisen in the last 17 years. The "Schöner Wohnen" collection was expanded by an extensive furniture assortment that reflects current trends in autumn 2017.
For its "Couch Lieblingsstücke" (favourite pieces) product portfolio, "Couch" magazine has recently begun working with the online furniture trader Otto. "The cooperation of 'Couch' with Otto is a win for both sides," Jan Filler, Division Manager of the Furniture Category at Otto, explains. "From a dealer point of view, we have found a strong partner in the Couch editorial team for making the jointly developed products accessible to the readership and the 'Couch' community. Otto customers also find many new products in the Lieblingsstück collection that inherently demonstrate the special sense of the 'Couch' editorial team for design and tasteful furnishings".
The 'Schöner Wohnen' collection, with its holistic interiors concept, perfectly suits the spirit of this 'new' imm cologne and brings to life the idea of 'interior moments' in the truest sense of the word. We are very pleased at the exchange with experts from the industry and warmly invite all interested parties to submerge into our interiors worlds."
Background: magazine industry in transformation
But what is causing publishing houses to develop their own product lines beyond their magazines themselves? We often see reports on the "death of magazines" or the "crisis of print journalism". One thing is certain: magazine publishers are going through a period of adjustment. Declining circulation is often an indication of the growing challenges facing the industry. A major catalyst for this is the Internet.
This is because the technology that makes our everyday lives so much easier also has a dark side for magazine publishing houses. Due to the use of mobile end devices, magazines are losing their most important argument for the purchase of printed products: usage not limited by time and place.
Much of the content is made available for free in the Internet and can be downloaded at no charge. It hasn't been possible to bring together the free mentality of readers and a uniform payment model for magazines to date. Also important is that traditional journalism is in some cases being replaced by user generated content in social media.
Thus, bloggers report on new products, try them out while filming and inform their followers of the strengths and weaknesses. They inform live about major events as if readers or viewers were there themselves.
However, publishing houses like Gruner+Jahr are reacting: in order to be able to continue to assert themselves on the market, they are partially reorganising their strategy for their living and lifestyle media and opening up new business areas. With the launch of their own furniture and home collections, they prove that new sales channels are possible today.