Title and Mission Statement
Dive Magazine aims to bring readers the very best dive bar lifestyle from around the country and serves up pro tips of how to shake, stir and enjoy at home.
Target Audience Description and Proof of Need
Looking at research from a 2016 survey from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, of those surveyed ages 21-25, 67.5% were current drinkers; of those ages 26-34, 64.1% were current drinkers, and of those 35+, 52.5% were current drinkers. Refined by gender, males were 55.3% current drinkers (72,236 survey respondents), and females were 46.4% of the current drinkers (64,449 survey respondents).
Looking into who would be willing to travel to a dive bar they have read about or seen in a magazine, Expedia revealed the travel habits of Americans in 2017. Those ages 18-34 ranked food and drink as a high priority when planning a trip. Those 25 years and older relied most heavily on a friend’s advice when looking into traveling and booking arrangements compared to using standard travel planning tools or guide books. When traveling, the second most popular thing to do after arriving is to try out a local restaurant or bar. Respondents who were 45 years and older were more likely to want to take a self-guided tour when traveling, rather than going on a cruise or staying at a resort. This leaves them more likely to do research about where they are traveling to in order to find things to do or places to eat. Regardless of a travelers’ age and gender, Expedia shows the number one reason for taking a trip was just for fun. Overall, 60 percent of those surveyed travel domestically within the United States one to two times a year, with the majority of respondents traveling for three to four days at a time. Those who are making middle- to high-level incomes did not report traveling more than the rest of the population.
The Manual, an online guide magazine, explains that everyone needs a dive bar in their life for a multitude of reasons. Some examples include being able to wear whatever you want, the regulars who will likely become your new friends, bartenders with stories to tell, and not breaking the bank thanks to drink specials. From the research showing the number of travelers and those who regularly are drinking alcohol, there are overlaps in the ages of 21-35 and those 45+ that would likely be interested in a dive bar magazine. There would also be an interest due to our wide array of departments and features giving something for everyone who is interested in neighborhood bars, traveling to unique destinations around the country, and the people who live there. There is currently a gap in the magazine market when it comes to a focus on bars, specifically dive bars. Looking at our main competitors and their audiences, we differ by what we publish in our magazine in print and online, giving us a slightly different angle and target audience.
Our biggest competitor, online magazine Punch, says in their “about us” section, “We believe that the wine, cocktail, beer and spirits worlds share more in common than they probably realize. We want to bring them together and shine a light on the many places where their values are entwined.” This would be our biggest competitor for being so closely focused on drinks and a particular lifestyle. They encourage subscriptions and pitches from their readers, post 40-50 pieces of content as their “issues” over the course of a month and have an active social media presence. Punch, however, does not have a media kit showcasing their audience or how many unique users and views their website and content reaches. Dive Magazine differs is that we have a niche focus on dive bars in different neighborhoods and the particular lifestyle, while also showing recipes and interviews in our departments.
Another competitor, Drink Me Mag states, their readers “crave to learn and are constantly seeking to discover more about the imbibe world and where they can discover new sensations,” which we would be delivering and more throughout Dive Magazine. They publish a print edition every 2 months that is distributed to 600 locations of different bars, hotels, etc., but it is not subscription based or sent to private homes. Drink Me Mag also pushes their newsletter and online content, but do not have active social media. They have no data or statistics of website views or unique visitors, or their main target audience.
Another competitor is, The Spirits Business Magazine, and their 2019 Media Pack shows that their readership is 20% Producers, 32% Bartenders, and 48% Buyers & Distributors. While Dive may appeal to these readers, it is not our main audience, making this particular magazine not our main competition but still a competitor due to the related subject topic. The Spirits Business Magazine audience is more likely to be our advertisers and not our readers.
Print production strategy
Unable to truly compare our print magazine to our competitors, we are able to make it as unique and creative as we want within reason and working with our printers. Our trim size would be a standard 83/8” x 107/8” for being the most economical when starting out. We also wanted to keep it on the larger side so that our photos can be enlarged and show more than a digest size for example. Our paper stock decision would have to be an extremely high gloss cover with medium weight super calendered paper for departments and features. We made these decisions due to our research of different paper types. A high gloss paper will provide vibrant colors in print and high reflective effects for our cover photos. As for the medium weight super calendered paper, it has less coating and finish than coated stocks, but more than uncoated. This choice is being used more and more with magazines like Rolling Stone and Family Circle using super calendered paper.
Our usual page count will fall in the 64-page range to be able to show a wide range of departments while still leaving content for our online website. While this page range could change as we grow as a magazine or for special issues, this gives a large amount of space for our departments, features, and advertising. We also went with this page amount because it’s a multiple of eight since we don’t want to be wasting an entire reem of paper or the money it would cost to pay for unused materials when having to print an odd amount of pages due to how a magazine is printed, folded, and bound.
Our standard cover strategy is to have a high-resolution, quality photo every issue that features an aspect of the dive bar we would be covering in our features. This can include anything from a particular drink or food they are known for, the inside or outside of the bar, or a worker doing their job within the bar such as preparing food or drink. When creating cover lines, we want to ensure that they catch readers’ eyes with word play and accuracy, use the best coloring to stand out when printed, and will not take away from the image featured.
We want the personality of our covers to be classy, while remaining friendly and inviting like a local neighborhood dive bar. We want our cover to convey that we aren’t wanting to appeal to a young, college audience, but an audience who cares about what and where they are drinking and traveling, and a particular lifestyle that they can relate to.
Dive Magazine’s print edition will be published and distributed 10 times annually, while our online website will have new content every week. Our online content will also draw different readers in while acting as an additional way to gain a profit since we would not have printing costs, only writers/editors’ salaries and the cost of designing and running the website as an expense. This expense will be lessened and turned to profit after the initial website set-up and with the help of advertising.
The goal is to have our magazine available on newsstands in places like the grocery store and airports around the United States, as well as being available on virtual newsstands that readers could purchase or use their subscription to read on their electronic devices. Compared to similar food/drink magazines, Bon Appetit ($5.99), Food & Wine ($5.99), and Food Network Magazine ($4.99), our standard cover price would start at a comparable $4.99. Looking at annual print subscriptions compared to competitors, our price for 1 year (10 magazines) would start at $15 ($1.50/magazine) or $25 to get 2 years (20 magazines; $1.25/magazine). There would also be a digital only 6-month subscription costing $7 ($1.40/magazine), or $12 ($1.20/magazine) for the year. Print subscriptions would have automatic digital access.
One brand extension that would fit with the concept of Dive Magazine is a bar and drinkware line that includes glasses, shakers, kits and other drink needs. These would be branded and top-of-the-line products. This would fit with our magazine concept because recipes and photos can be inspiration or can be made with the use of our products. Our different departments would also feature the glasses and shakers in their photos to show.
Having our own bar and drinkware line meshes well with our magazine’s mission because it will assist in bringing the dive bar lifestyle, as well as our tips on making recipes achievable at home. Having the exact shaker or glasses shown in our pictures will give that added confidence to our readers to believe that they can have what they see in the magazine.
Retail: Bacardi, Absolut, Jack Daniel’s, Coors Brewing Company
Travel & Tourism: Trivago, Expedia, Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Hotel Tonight
Automotive: Jeep, Harley Davidson, Dodge, Volkswagen
Insurance: Progressive Auto Insurance, Liberty Mutual
Title: Hoppy Hour
Story Example: What’s so Great About Great Lakes Brewing Company? – Read
about the story behind the popular beer and why it’s hopping off the shelves.
Title: Poured from the Master
Story Example: Read tips straight from a master mixologist or bartender about all things liquor, beer, and pouring a great drink.
Title: DIY Your Bar
Story Example: Old to New: Bookshelf Turned Bar – Jazz up your at-home bar with this simple DIY that will surely make your friends jealous.
Feature Well/Main Cover Package:
Cleveland’s Oldest Bar: Harbor Inn Cafe
Focused on the history of the hole-in-the-wall dive bar, Harbor Inn Cafe, Dive Magazine explores how this bar got its start in Cleveland and who is continuing to carry on its traditions. The cover would focus on the outside façade of the building as it shows the age and unique location in The Flats of the city.
Title: Can’t Miss Honorable Mentions
Story Example: 5 Top Bars, Breweries, and Distilleries We Couldn’t Leave Out –
Discover these fascinating can’t miss bars from Cleveland.
Title: The Dish on Dive
Story Example: How’d They Make That? - Gourmet food recipes straight from
the dive bar kitchen to your table at home.
Additional Cover Story Ideas
One multimedia element that we want to be able to include is videos with large features or recipes that we have in our magazine or online. Videos for our large features can be accessed through our print and digital subscriptions making them an addition to our subscription offer. Videos would add to our coverage by showing a different aspect not shown in the written feature including a tour of a dive bar, an interview with the locals, or how a bartender makes their favorite drinks.
Another interactive aspect to add to our content is through the use of maps. Adding to a story through an interactive map can be done through showing a particular dive bar on the map and where those who frequent the bar are from with a story about them, or the history of different locations of a bar if it has moved around throughout it’s time operating. Using a map not only provides a visual for a location that might be unknown to readers, but it helps tell a story in a more cohesive way because it can be interactive and easily understood.
Videos and maps for our department stories on our website will be available to anyone and would add to our stories, such as showing how a recipe is made or where a bar gets their specially brewed local beer. These multimedia pieces are appropriate for our audience because of the aspects of the videos and the visuals that they would be able to see in addition to the written content.