Repositioning the legacy of an iconic 100 year old brand into the new generations
We had to create a 100% digital platform whose content will generate credibility, be easy to read, aesthetically appropriate and have a pleasant interaction with the audience. At a technical level, it was essential that it be an agile platform, highly editable and with a very intuitive CMS (Content Management System), easily accessible and with scaling capabilities, since a digital magazine grows and grows every month.
The challenge was very important for two reasons. In one hand, we are in the era of the #fakenews with an internet full of portals that promote disinformation, intolerance, hate speech, among others. On the other hand, we are in the era of recognized portals that only tell the stories of the highly successful women and diverse community that broke the glass ceilings from their work in multinationals such as Pepsico, IBM, Google, etc. but they did not give space to the stories of women and diverse communities in rural areas, communities, or who have achievements not “worthy” of local, national and international recognition.
The challenge of creating a digital startup and seeking to compete with the great multimillion-dollar information portals by producing content financed by their own creators was without equal. It was a social cause that required a lot of determination and always with the aim of captivating an audience that was not being heard and that also sought to resonate with that editorial line.
After understanding in depth the audience we were addressing and using business creation methodologies such as Lean Startup, Blue Ocean Strategy, Business Model Canvas, Golden Circle, among others. We had the roadmap drawn up to launch the project of being one of the first 100% digital magazines with a gender and diversity approach in Colombia.
Within our strategy session in wich we use our own framework for building and re-building brands, we think of a brand as a person and give it some personality. With that we always define the brand personality, between the 12 personalities that brands can have, The Hero was the go to for Revista Level because of its revolutionary nature by providing change and having the cause of giving voice to the ones that have been discriminated, diminish and put apart from history.
framework to uncover key insights around challenges facing brands and have all the tools you need to facilitate brand strategy workshops and to deliver a client roadmap that includes recommended actions so they know exactly what steps to take to improve their brand.
The editorial director and founder of the magazine, Karol Franco, telling the cause of LEVEL and its editorial approach, achieved an unparalleled call for writers. 25 people joined and became part of the editorial team, creating 25 written content that was more than enough to launch the magazine, validating much of the promise that this digital endeavor had potential of growth.
The magazine began with an editorial approach duly planned by its director, in which it was structured as follows:
4 main sections:
"Getting around the silence and loneliness generated by gender violence"
"Change is possible when men get involved"
"Love whoever you want"
"We exalt the power of women because they revolutionize the world"
One of its great innovations was to create an editorial line of diversity and gender that talks about 8 fundamental topics such as Self-care, Science and Technology, Culture and Art, Sport, Economy, Education, Politics and Sustainability. Furthermore, the type of content is also classified in the genres that a large portal traditionally handles, such as: Articles, Columns, Complaints, Editorial, Photography / Illustration / Cartoon, News, Video and Podcast.
The reception was substantial, companies like Pepsico and IBM began to support and sponsor it, the audience began to scale organically and exponentially with unprecedented digital interaction figures. Average session times of more than 9 minutes, bounce rate below 20%, among others.
We needed to design a name that reflected equality and fairness. After several proposals, we arrived at LEVEL. It was a very special name because it is a palindromic word, it means that it can be read in the same way in one sense as the other. The name symbolizes that we can level the current imbalance between humans.
Taking its semantics to another level, we mirror the last two letters "EL" of the word to make palindromic reading visual.
The selection of stock images for the magazine was a fundamental topic and even difficult to find since we realized how skewed the web is in terms of gender and diversity, it is just that you put female entrepreneur in a search engine and you will see 2 or 6 photos, put an entrepreneur and there will be millions of mens photos... This led to a graphic challenge to achieve the selection of suitable images that would show all the scenarios in which people find themselves.
Web development was the meat of the project because it is the product and at the same time the service that would make everything a reality.
¡Start with mobile! Before the pandemic, mobile internet use was between 80% to 90% for content consumption. It means that the digital-magazine has to be mobile first. We designed a way to present the latest coentens with the appearance of Instagram-style stories, it was a success when it was released, users loved it and even commented on it a lot on social networks.
The dynamic navigation with modern animations such as scroll interactions, 3D hoover movement, among others. gave the magazine the stylish touch that it was hard to find in other content portals.
Since inclusion is the backbone of the magazine, its accessibility was essential, so we installed a third party app on the platform that allowed us to optimize it so that it is enjoyed by all users, even with certain disabilities.
Beyond the technical stuff we have the human part of the magazine and in order to give a decent place to each writer we designed a personal space as an author page where they find an exclusive profile with their contents. This has led them to generate an unparalleled personal brand and has allowed them to share their URL as if it were their own “micro magazine”.
The CMS (Content Management System) of the magazine is without equal, what Webflow has achieved to allow its users to make edits from any computer on the live URL is priceless. The learning curve of the editor is between 10 to 15 minutes, with that in mind we train a person that can create, edit, archive and / or delete content within the web page in minutes. Which is a great advance for the communications sector since the premise and speed of transmitting information is one of the most valuable elements in this category.
The reception of the magazine was without equal, in its first 3 years more than 1k contents have been produced, it has a team of more than 55 authors in 7 countries, it has been visited by more than 425k users globally, it has a bounce rate of 37% and a session duration of 9 minutes.
The writers who participate in Level Magazine increase their capacity for career advancement due to the great credibility it gives them in their personal brands. We have cases of writers who have won scholarships to master's degrees at major universities, among others beautiful success stories.
The magazine is a benchmark for stories and content on gender and diversity, so much so that several well-known media have cited its content to support some of its news.
Understanding a market niche, transmitting exactly what it wants and desires, and starting a startup focused on its user and following a revolutionary cause manifested in all the touch points of its brand has been its best way to scale.
Xcala, managed to capture all the ideas I had and the result exceeded my expectations. Their design level is high and perfectionist, just like our brand. Therefore, we continue with their services and advice "
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