Fact Finding: Instyle Magazine

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Fact Finding – Instyle magazine
Instyle is a women’s fashion magazine originally launched in the United State by Time Warner Inc. The magazine issues monthly, providing photographs and articles about fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and celebrity styles to readers. (http://www.instylemag.com.au/about.asp) After 18 years development, Instyle becomes an international brand that has editions in seventeen countries. The brand has five extensions – the InStyle website, InStyle Weddings, InStyle Hair, InStyle Makeovers, and Instyle books. The mission of Instyle is to translate high fashion and celebrity glam into options for readers to buy and try (Instyle Media Kit, 2012). Instyle targets 18 – 50 years old women, with the core target market being from 25 – 35 years old. Most of them have college educational level while some of them attended graduate program. They are financial independent. Many of them have home ownership (Instyle Reader Profiles and Circulation, 2011). They are interested in the “trend of the moment”. They focus on building and enhancing their own personal styles. Because of their busy career, they don’t have much free time to discover fashion by themselves. Thus, they are willing to receive dressing guides and suggestions by professional experts. Instyle ranks 43 in the Top 100 Magazine by Circulation, with a rank of No.3 in women’s fashion magazine. Within women’s fashion magazine industry, Instyle competes with the likes of Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Instyle competes with Glamour in circulation. Glamour circulated 2.3 million in 2011, while Instyle circulated 1.7 million. Instyle was only 0.6 million behind Glamour (Top 100 Magazine by Circulation, 2011). Cosmopolitan, the main and biggest competitor of Instyle is the best seller in the women’s fashion magazine category with a circulation of 3 million (Top 100 Magazine by Circulation, 2011). Covering wider topics than Instyle, the content of Cosmopolitan includes articles on relationships, sex, health, careers, and self-improvement. According to statistical distribution of Cosmopolitan’s contents, contents on relationships holds equal weightage as the combined contents on fashion and beauty. In a survey conducted to know which fashion magazines women are most involved with, 52% of the participants voted for Cosmopolitan while only 35% of them supported Instyle (Cosmo Media Kit, 2012). Comparing to its competitors, a strength that makes Instyle stand out is the practical beauty advice it offers. Instyle believes that everyone has his/her own attributes. Hence, Instyle teaches readers how to optimize their attributes and how to connect fashion with their attributes (NBC News, Feb 2009). Readers make use of these advice and fashion tips from experts to choose the right clothes and make up for their own style (The Daily Telegraph, Sep 2012). The magazine gives readers different dressing codes for different professions. In its latest September issues, a brand named Ann Taylor presents a style guide for different occasions including “the editor”, “the agent”, “the creative director” and “the entrepreneur”(MIN Media Industry Newsletter, Sep 2012). Although this style guide may indicate that Ann Taylor has various pieces suitable for any occasion, it also inspire readers about which style fit their job best and what pieces are included in that style (Introspection). In 2011, Instyle cooperated with Selfridge, the world’s best department store, to launch a multi-platform little book of beauty advice. After launching the book, Instyle packed all the advice into a stand-alone beauty bible, distributed within the magazine as a free supplement. The Instyle editor viewed the supplement a good way to share beauty knowledge with readers (Targeted News Service, Mar 2011). In order to have deep understanding about the reputation of Instyle, I interviewed several friends who follow fashion magazines about what are the differences between Instyle and other top fashion magazines...
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