Last week Revue, a monthly West Michigan entertainment magazine, purchased MiBiz, a weekly West Michigan business publication (there has been no official announcement regarding the headlines though). Both publications are now owned by Revue Holding Company.
As mentioned in the press release, Revue president Brian Edwards (whose name graces a local Grand Rapids PR firm – Lambert & Edwards & Associates) will come on board at MiBiz as editor and publisher of the magazine. It will be interesting to see how these two seemingly different magazines will operate with each other since it’s stated that they will share best practices. However, they do share some similarities:
- Physical Appearance: Both publications are of a similar (or same) size, made out of newspaper material, and are in color
- Free: Well to a certain extent. Revue is free, and you can pick up a copy almost anywhere, whereas MiBiz is free for subscription if you have a fancy title (middle to upper management). Also both publications make their entire issue/content available for free online
- Advertising: Both heavily rely on advertising for revenue, though their advertisers vary greatly. Revue – bars, restaurants, and bands. MiBiz – Banks, Insurance, and other boring/odd ads for businesses like this one.
Per the press release Edwards states that the MiBiz acquisition is just the first of several planned for the next couple of years… I wonder what is next – sports (maybe even high school sports), Rapid Growth (though maybe not after Revue’s Stad DiPonzi’s Vapid Growth comment), what else is there….The Ledger? Maybe West Michigan isn’t a focus and they are looking to acquire publications in Central or Eastern Michigan. Or perhaps Revue Holding Company is just positioning itself against Gemini Publications portfolio of magazines which include Grand Rapids Business Journal, Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Family Magazine, Michigan BLUE Magazine, Michigan GOLF Magazine. By the way, Gemini gets bonus points for all their creative and original publication names.
So what are your thoughts on what’s next for Revue Holding Company or about the acquisition?
Well at least the name is an accurate description of the location of studio. The front of the building is on the north side of 17th Street, and this Gallery & Studio is the “backside” of the building facing out onto 16th Street. Here is a picture of the location. It is right behind WayCup Cafe.
Writing headlines is a pain. Often times it is the last thing I do before I post my stories, usually after many deletions and rewritings. So I can’t fault MiBiz too much for their choice of headlines but wow they do really kick up the corniness. Peruse the list below:
Which MiBiz headline do you like the best? Can you find any other good ones in their archives? More importantly my headlines aren’t that bad… are they?
Note: Remember you can read MiBiz stories free of charge if you just sign up for an account
Local marketing firm Steketee Greiner Company (SGC) is now Agent X. SGC merged with an “experiential marketing agency” based in Chicago, called Agent X. They decided to retain the Agent X name, but reviewing the company’s history, the name switch should come as no surprise.
The company started in 2004 with Fiaba Creative located in Saugatuck. In 2007 Fiaba changed their name to Context MG. Context MG then moved to downtown Grand Rapids in January 2009. Sometime in 2009 (my guess is late summer) Context MG decided to change their name once again. This time the firm became SGC. SGC was named after the two founders Brian Steketee and David Greiner. This name was retained for about 1.5 years. Then in August 2010 SGC launched a new company called Catalyst SGC.
I understand the possible need to re-name a company when an acquisition or merger has happened, but 4 names over 7 years?. Often times companies want to either keep the stronger brand, or adapt names to retain the best from both companies, or even create a whole new name. But the only acquisition/merger, I could find was the most recent one between SGC and Agent X. The other 3 name changes were just new names. It must be difficult to build a brand, image, and clientele with one name, and then switch names and have to create or try to retain the brand, image again. Not to mention how confusing this could be for clients, and how expensive re-branding is for the firm (create new collateral, letterheads, redesign website, etc). I wonder what the clients think of this name juggling.
But then again maybe this blogger should keep his mouth shut regarding changing names… West Michigan Business Blog is still transitioning to The Ledger.
Groan, say hello to another “i” branded product, the iLean, a lightweight shelving unit (created & made in West Michigan). Am I the only one who is getting quite tired of this whole “i” name thing? It is getting out of control and whole “i” name has already been around since 2001, when Apple first released the iPod. So using “i” isn’t this fresh, new idea… it is now old, tired, and worn. As far as I’m concerned, Apple is the only company that can use the “i” moniker with impunity (but they can still mess it up, case in point “iPad”).
Don’t get me wrong, its a great story of a Holland resident who had a need (portable shelving for her garden), created a solution (the iLean), created a company Angleworks and then ultimately through various partners (all in West Michigan) brought the product to market. I love the stories about the entrepreneurial mind & spirit at work, and it looks like a cool product, but lets be a little more creative on naming this shelving unit.
Just google “ilean” and see how many pages it takes you to get to the official website. Nothing on page 1. There is a story on a mommy blog on page 2, a result on page 3 for Real Simple, then nothing until page 9 with a campus life blog, and after I hit page 20 of the search results, I give up… nothing for their official site http://www.ileanstore.com. So what did I learn, Ilean is a perfectly acceptable and widely used spelling for the name Eileen, and iLean needs some SEO help (any of you SEO types reading this should probably give these guys a call, and I would be more than happy to receive a lead commission as well).
They even named their accessories the following iLink, & iLedge. Well good luck to Angleworks and their new product, the iLean.
Dexys Midnight Runners must be so proud!
So all this talk about branding has made me rethink mine as well. West Michigan Business Blog is not the most awe inspiring name, so I decided to do some brain-storming and came up with The Ledger (which narrowly beat out WindQuest). So there we have it The Ledger – Providing a Different Account of West Michigan Business. Let me know what you guys think.