Gucci, Puma parent launches online magazine

Kering, the parent company of brands such as Gucci and Puma, launched an online magazine called K last week, supporting its June rebrand from PPR.

PARIS: Kering, the parent company of brands such as Gucci and Puma, launched an online magazine called K last week, supporting its June rebrand from PPR.

Published weekly in both English and French, the magazine covers topics from the arts and fashion to luxury and creativity, and it aims to incorporate features on themes outside of the company's news. The first two issues featured names such as Olivier Saillard, director of the Palais Galliera; Boucheron CEO Pierre Bouissou; and Franca Sozzani, editor of Vogue Italia.

Traditionally, Kering has focused on b–to-b communications, but it has recently shifted to b-to-c efforts. The magazine predominantly targets Kering's stakeholders, according to Laurent Claquin, head of Kering Americas in New York.

“Of course we communicate with reporters, journalists, bloggers, investors, analysts, and NGOs, but we want to talk more with business partners and the general public,” he said. “The new magazine is important to us internally and externally, giving internal figures and external commentators different opportunities to talk about our industry.”

Although Ruder Finn, which has served as Kering's US corporate agency partner since March 2012, is assisting the French holding company with K's promotion, the magazine's development is taking place completely in-house.

In recent months, a number of major consumer-facing brands have launched their own media properties and set up content-creation units in-house. In 2011, Nissan debuted the Nissan Global Media Center, which produces an average of one broadcast story per day in addition to other content. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola's Journey website, which has pulled in nearly 11.1 million visitors since its launch last November, functions like an online magazine.

For brands, the content-creation trend is largely about community building, said Claquin.

“Content creation helps people to associate themselves with a brand,” he said. “It helps them to see the brand like a friend; it is definitely a growing trend.”

While content creation has become an important element for a company to incorporate into its communications efforts, the key to its success lies in consistency, Claquin said.

“If you want to give content to your brand, you need a voice, and you need to build on what you stand for and what you have to say,” he said. “But it is also important to note that a brand should never only talk about itself and what it does.”

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