A pop-up magazine? Yes says Suzy Brokensha

Writer Zandile Xabedlini is a content producer at New Media who’s keeping a sharp eye out for a similar money-making idea!

Fairlady’s editor tells New Media what Lose It! taught her about brand extensions.

We’ve all heard about Banting, but few have seen the commercial opportunity as clearly as Suzy Brokensha, the brains behind publishing phenomenon Lose It!, the mag catering to Banting’s growing band of believers.

Suzy visited New Media recently to share the Lose It! journey, along with what she learnt about ‘brand extensions’ along the way.

Suzy Brokensha
Suzy Brokensha

The Banting diet, also known as LCHF (low carb high fat – or, as Suzy likes to call it, low carb healthy fat), is associated with Prof Tim Noakes, who collaborated on the best-selling Real Meal Revolution. At one of these book launches, Suzy hit on the idea of starting a magazine focused on losing weight the Banting way.

The idea formed that Lose It! should be more than a magazine; instead it should be a gateway into a community of people – both men and women – trying to change their lifestyles and live healthier for longer without foregoing the pleasures of great-tasting food.

A business plan followed – scrawled on a paper serviette – and the formula has worked.

Readership has grown month on month since launch, with readers as far afield as Tasmania. Lose It! is also online, with a digimag and a website offering daily tips and access to nutrition experts. Another successful Lose It! spin-off has been the Ladies That LCHF (LTL) programme, a six-week online meal plan that includes recipes, shopping lists and inspiration. As at June 2015, LTL had 1 800 people signed up.

So what’s the secret? Here are Suzy’s lessons learnt along the way.Suzy-thumb

  1. Share expertise, not content. Lose It! is completely separate from the Fairlady brand, so we don’t cannibalise readers or advertisers. But the two brands are created by one expert team.
  2. Find a community of ‘believers’ that is already interested in your topic. ‘Readers dabble in content, but believers gorge on it.’ And they’ll defend it for you.
  3. Essentially this is a pop-up magazine, designed to exist while everyone’s talking Banting. When that stops, we won’t shift the content, we’ll close and start something new.
  4. Find a new business model so you’re not reliant on tired advertising revenue. Lose It! has a high cover price and revenue comes from other brand extensions such as the LTL meal plans.
  5. Offer achievable inspiration – easy recipes and real people show that anyone can do this.

Visit the Lost It! website here. http://www.loseit.co.za/

Written by Zandile Xabendlini

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