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Meet the Press: Beauty Editors Speak Out

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: October 14, 2008

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However, for men, Nygaard believes brands should also consider using more neutral packaging and fragrance-free products, in addition to environmentally friendly materials. Other male reader trends Nygaard has picked up on include consumer demand for male-specific products and skin care that will reverse the signs of aging. “Men are realizing crow’s-feet and laugh lines don’t signify character and distinction,” she says. “Our culture values youth, and I think that has finally impacted the psychology of men, as it has plagued women for so long.” Also similar to female consumers, Nygaard believes males desire products that simplify and combine grooming techniques—for example, a dual moisturizer and antiaging cream that has an SPF. “Niche and luxury products are gaining importance,” she adds. “Men are willing to pay more for a luxurious soap, shave cream or moisturizer.”

But men aren’t the only growing skin care fanatics these days. Johnson says women as young as age 30 are purchasing skin care products that claim to prevent the signs of aging. “Products that firm, smooth, tighten, lift or sculpt—from eye serums to cellulite gels and face masks to self-tanners—are making these appealing claims,” she says. “And everyone is talking about the new super-high SPF 70, 80, 85 sunscreens flooding the market.”

How to Get in the Book

All beauty editors interviewed by GCI magazine agreed that product efficacy and launch timing are two of the main factors involved when editorial is chosen for a magazine issue. A product must fit both the theme of that particular issue and also into the mission and audience demographic of the magazine itself. Often, this takes research by brands before proposing a story idea, and, according to Chu, persistence is not always the key. “If the product is not right the first time, it’s not going to be right the fifth time,” she says.

In the case of Men’s Health, knowing the reader demographic of a magazine can make or break the possibility of editorial coverage. “It’s really irksome when a PR person doesn’t target the right magazine,” says Nygaard. “We get tons of women’s products sent to us all the time.”

So once a brand knows the gender of a typical reader, how do they know if their products are still a good fit editorially?