Recently the Twitterverse exploded with the news that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have graced the cover of American Vogue.
And the world kept spinning.
But the cover has divided but Vogue readers and interested by-standers alike. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Sarah Michelle Gellar) herself tweeted “I guess I’m cancelling my Vogue subscription. Who is with me???” Her overuse of question marks aside, she echoed the thoughts of many loyal readers who were disgusted that the noble tome did not hold up their high standards. But on closer inspection, this apparently risky move is in fact a very clever business decision.
The Reason? Using Twitter for Business
There’s no point beating around the bush, the print medium is in trouble and magazines are in a stage of do or die. So is this stunt going to gain new readers, or just lose the loyal ones?
Let’s look at the facts. Kim Kardashian has 20.3 million Twitter followers. Kanye West has 10.3 million. And Vogue? Vogue has a measly 3.63 million followers. When Kardashian posted two photos from the fashion spread to Instagram they gained more than a million likes, each! You can’t beat that publicity.
That’s what it comes down to. Vogue, as well as being a fashion icon, is a business. A business that has to compete in a frankly crowded & shrinking marketplace and the publicity that comes from celebrities of this stature is invaluable. Vogue has embraced using Twitter for business as a part of their marketing strategy. And the fact that it’s causing debate outside the fashion community? Well that’s a serious bonus.
Vogue may be pandering, but they are also making a calculated business decision to keep from extinction. And if they lose a few loyal subscribers in the process, so be it.