2010 September 12
Out of Vogue But Still InStyle
Giorgio Niro View Gallery
(NEW YORK) Eighteen months after fleeing Condé, InStyle publisher Connie Anne Phillips gets the last laugh.
How’s it going?
Fabulous. I love getting off on the 24th floor every day. It’s an incredible brand, and I’ve been able to build a fantastic team here. I just love it.
Was it a tough adjustment?
I’d say the adjustment was that I came from what was considered to be a very large brand, and when I got to InStyle, I realized what a very large brand really is. It’s a magazine; it’s a website; it’s books; it’s red carpet platforms; it’s 1.7 million followers on Twitter.
What’s the main difference between Condé and Time Inc.?
The twisted-titanium Frank Gehry cafeteria really sticks out in my mind. What I’ve tried to create here is a drama-free zone.
What’s the secret to selling a successful brand in 2010?
I actually consider it to be a formula. You have to hire the very best and brightest people. You have to walk into a sales meeting and be proud of everyone you’ve surrounded yourself with. You have to represent the brand, both on a professional and a personal basis, and feel passionate about it. Just recently, [managing editor] Ariel Foxman and I were going through a first-bound of our September issue, and I didn’t want to let it out of my hands. I wanted to read every single word. I looked at every ad and was so proud of each sale.
How do you convince advertisers that it’s worth it to put their ads in print?
It all comes down to our reader. Our reader is someone who realizes that she could be having a red carpet moment of her own at any moment, on any day. She greets the world with confidence, with charm, and with style. She comes to InStyle for a glimpse of the glamorous life of a celebrity, but then there’s that reality base that we give her—a multitude of items to make her feel that confidence during her red carpet moment.
Speaking of, those are quite serious earrings.
Aren’t they fun? Bounkit. It’s my own red carpet moment with you here!
So you think it’s the connection with the reader that’s made InStyle number one?
It’s her shopping and her spending power and the fact that she is—whether it’s high-end fashion or lipsticks or hair sprays—buying more of it than readers of other magazines. She comes here because she wants inspiration and direction. She wants to be engaged. She takes all of that enthusiasm to point of purchase, whether it’s in-store or online. She is a shopper.
How do you keep the whole landscape happy—how do you sell Walmart and Barneys?
The reality is that women shop both. Women want to see a multitude of price points, and they want to feel really good about their purchases. No matter what store you’re walking out of, there is a lot of hope and fantasy in that shopping bag, and that’s what we do for a woman. It’s the magic of InStyle. One woman might come away with a lipstick, and another a pair of $78,000 Van Cleef & Arpels earrings.
Everyone says they move product. How come advertisers believe you?
The marketing and the promotions we put in support of our brand really get the consumer to point of purchase. If you’re a retailer, you’re talking to your GMMs, your DMMs, and your buyers, but you’re also talking to the people on the selling floor. They’re saying, “Women come in with pages from InStyle.” “Women call in with products that are only in InStyle.” “Women will make an appointment to buy something because they saw it in InStyle.” A smart retailer knows what’s going on on their floor.
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