Andy Beckett of The Guardian takes a look at How to Spend It, the upscale magazine from the Financial Times.
Beckett writes, “Most consumer journalism draws readers to products within, or just beyond, their financial reach. But How to Spend It ‘is not aspirational’, says Qing Wang, a professor at Warwick Business School and an authority on the consumption habits of the very wealthy. ‘It’s for those who’ve made it, for the exclusive enjoyment of them and their kind.’ Not all How to Spend It readers are rich, but a lot of them are. According to the FT, ‘Half have or would consider paying $14,000+ on a high-end watch’ and ‘1 in 5 have or would consider using the service of a private jet’.
“Wang says: ‘How to Spend It can be sophisticated, but in the end, it’s all about status. Many of its readers are bankers, or businessmen from China and India – quite blunt people. They like the magazine’s directness. They pick it up thinking: ‘Just tell me what I need.’’
“’The magazine has a great conversion rate for advertisers,’ or turning ads into sales, says Alice Pickthall of the media research firm Enders Analysis. A former FT journalist says: ‘Some readers take How to Spend It into a shop, point at a picture in it, and say: ‘I want that watch.’ It’s the Argos catalogue for rich people.'”
Read more here.