How has brand Femina evolved over the past five years?
From five years back to now, the Indian woman has evolved and so we have as a magazine. She now travels more, she is exposed to more beauty and fashion products. Also, five years back there was no social media in India. It had just started and was in a nascent stage. Today, our TG spends a lot of time on social media like Twitter, Facebook and so on. That aside, there is the whole online world where she gets all the information she needs. The challenge for us was to keep up with the Internet and social media where information is updated almost every minute.
What are the initiatives the magazine brand is taking to keep pace with the online world?
We’re actually we are in a revamp mode. So you will see a lot of changes in the magazine.
What are these changes?
These changes will be seen sometime later this year. As I said earlier, we as a magazine brand have always made a conscious effort to evolve as our readers evolve; to make those necessary changes as we move forward. Femina has been in the market for the past 56 years and the magazine has reinvented magazines time and again.
Are we going to see a different magazine altogether?
Yes, you will see a different magazine altogether. Be it the design or the mission statement, we’re evaluating various aspects of the magazine. We want to add more value to our readers. We want to be more relevant and engage our readers with more personalised content. It’s too early to talk about the revamp, as we are looking at launching the revamp issue by the end of this year. It’s work in progress for us.
Is there going to be increased focus on digitising your content offering?
Yes, that’s one of the things we’re looking at. We already have a digital presence – that is our Femina India website. We are also present on Magzter and Zineo where we find a lot of traction from international readers. We’re in talks for launching an application for smartphones and tablets. I cannot talk about it right now because we’re in the development stage.
Femina recently launched a special edition called ‘Made by You’, a completely crowd sourced issue. What was the thought behind launching that?
In a brainstorming session with our digital partner FoxyMoron, we discussed about how we can involve the reader. We arrived at this idea of letting the reader take over completely. So we asked our readers to contribute articles for the issue and involved them in the entire process of content creation.
What was the response?
The response has been terrific. There is a lot of buzz about the issue in the social media space as these are articles contributed by our readers. Three hundred girls contributed articles and they’ve really responded well by taking it online and creating the buzz. More than 6,000 people have posted comments on Facebook, have tweeted our stories and so on.
How was the shortlisting done to arrive at 300 writers?
We had a process where they were to submit their write ups. From more than a 1,000 submissions, we shortlisted 300 writers, 75 out of which have contributed to big stories in the issue.
Have you seen the Femina reader evolve over the years?
Today, the Femina reader has more wherewithal to deal with things around her. So we need to be more relevant. She is upwardly mobile, someone who has priorities in place. She knows how to multitask and manage her life.
I would say we’re 15 seconds ahead of her; maybe we’re more aspirational than our real reader is and that’s really to cater to her aspirations.
As far as my point of difference is concerned from other brands in the market, we always put her first, unlike our competition.