If you had to guess which women's magazine had the highest median household income, what would you say? Perhaps Harper's Bazaar? Maybe Vogue?
As it turns out, the answer isn't an obvious one: It's More, the Meredith title launched in 1998 as an upscale service magazine for middle-aged women that now has a median household income of $112,000—nearly double that of Bazaar.
Well aware of More's perception problem, editor in chief Lesley Jane Seymore and publisher Jeannine Shao Collins are unveiling a redesign today that aims to make the appearance and tone of the magazine match its upscale readers. "Even though we have the highest household income of any women's magazine, we felt that we weren't being given enough credit for it," said Collins. "We want it to be more obvious aesthetically."
The new More is indeed a major step up from the magazine's previous iteration. Boasting a larger trim size and upgraded paper stock, it looks more like a luxury lifestyle title than a service book. On the cover, featuring the magazine's new logo, is fashion mag regular Drew Barrymore, shot by Ellen von Unwerth. Inside, the pages have been redesigned to have a cleaner, more upscale feel.
Much of the editorial content is also new. While many women's service magazines have been frantically adding more fashion and beauty to attract younger readers, More is taking the opposite approach and including more lifestyle content. "We're not redesigning to get the luxury customer—we already have her," explained Seymour.
There's the new front-of-book Best of the Best section spotlighting luxury goods, a food trends section produced in partnership with Food 52, expanded travel coverage (the February issue includes an insider's guide to Paris written by a former Paris Vogue editor), a tech column and interviews with successful women including Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman and Selma director Ava DuVernay.
The bigger editorial focus, said Seymour, will be on reinvention—a topic popular with readers in their 40s and 50s (the average More reader is 48) looking to start a new chapter in their lives. To that end, there's plenty of financial advice (and not "Finance 101" said Seymour, since "these are women who have already had careers") and interviews with entrepreneurs.
On the advertising side, the redesign has brought in a roster of new luxury brands including John Hardy, Temple St. Clair, Assael, Rita Hazan and NetJets.
Despite More's total circulation remaining steady as of late, Meredith is slashing the magazine's rate base from 1.3 million to 750,000 to "reflect the brand's focus on targeting its core luxury consumers," per the company, while also increasing its subscription price to $15 a year.