As many of you know, WeddingDay Magazine recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. We celebrated with an anniversary edition of the magazine which included a rather stunning cover shoot at the Palais Royale in South Bend and a new, enlightened direction for our magazine's editorial content. As our team mentally summarized the 10-year timeline of the magazine's existence, we exchanged our thoughts on the trends we have seen throughout the past decade, the changes in the wedding industry, and also on how print publications have evolved. It's true what they say, time does fly and time does change everything.
One thing is for certain about time and change—if you don't change with the times, you will get left behind. This especially rings true for businesses. Our personal challenge has been how to maintain a print product in the midst of a digital era. We knew we created a quality product; after all, we work with some of the top vendors in the regional area and have the opportunity to feature some of the most stunning weddings around. The question became “how can we stay relevant in this fast-paced, forever-changing market?” Experts urged publications to jump the print ship while it was still afloat, and plenty of them did. And for the publications that held on to their print product while refusing to make adjustments? Well, their ship sank.
And that is why WeddingDay has made the challenging-yet-necessary transition from a magazine into a brand. Now the magazine is just part of the WeddingDay brand; no longer is it the brand itself. What else is part of the brand? Our website, our bridal shows, our social media platforms, our email marketing campaigns, monthly newsletters, contests and the magazine. The challenge arises in creating a uniform brand message across several mediums; each message must be tailored to fit each respective platform. It became essential for our team to realize that each message we put out there into the world, whether it's in print or on Facebook, needed to be on point with our brand. That means our simple Facebook post needs to reflect the WeddingDay brand, just as much as our featured wedding articles in the magazine need to reflect the brand. When you become a brand, everything you do—every hashtag, every Tweet, every article, every message needs to point back to who you are as a brand. In our case, everywhere a bride sees WeddingDay, she should have similar experiences that allow her to understand who we are.
Is it challenging? Absolutely. Is it an opportunity? More than you know. Every business needs to come up with a way to engage their market across multiple platforms—especially in the wedding industry where we know that brides are using Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, bridal shows and magazines to plan their weddings. But it needs to be cohesive effort with consistent messaging. It's a miss to focus so much on running your business, that you forget to build your brand. It's how your audience gets to know who you are and we have seen that today's brides are very interested in having relationships with their vendors—they are putting the biggest day of their lives in your hands. So meet them where they are. Let them know who you are. And it could be the start of something beautiful. It was for us.
If you would like recommendations on how to make the leap from wedding business to wedding brand, click here.