Does anyone still remember New Day? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t.
Sadly, for those of us who value media diversity, the latest addition to the newsstand, New Day, lasted just nine weeks and will be quickly forgotten.
One school of thought says that this was inevitable. The UK’s universe of newspaper buyers has shrunk by a million since online news and news apps established themselves. So launching a new print title was high risk. I would have to agree, it was always going to be tough.
However, Trinity Mirror – the publishers – managed to make their task even more difficult by the way they chose to launch and manage their new title. Let’s draw some value from the whole awful experience by observing and learning from some ‘how not to’s’ when launching a new product.
- Pick a weak name. Basically, New Day doesn’t sound like it’s a newspaper – it would (and has been) applied in a number of sectors. It would be easy to see it on a shower gel, breakfast cereal, or deodorant. We have a client which recently rebranded itself as ‘New Day’: it runs a credit card business.
- Don’t pre-sell. New Day arrived as a surprise to many, particularly its target customers. Where were the previews, soft launch, PR announcements, celebrity columnists tweeting about it, pre-launch advertising. Didn’t spot them.
- Confuse your customers and the trade. Provide the first edition for free, then go up to 50p, then occasionally drop back to 25p. Price in the newspaper world is a clear signal of where you stand – so where was New Day?
- Create a major structural disadvantage. New Day was printed on the Daily Mirror presses, and had to finish the print run before the Mirror started. In a world where the latest news is a critical issue on the newsstand, looking like last night’s paper every morning isn’t sustainable. On Tuesday 3rd May New Day was the only paper in the UK not to feature the Leicester City story on the front page; they’d gone to print long before the story happened.
When you write a marketing strategy, you’re required to focus on four things, and identify an advantage for each – particularly for a new product. It’s an impressive fail that Trinity Mirror managed to create a disadvantage in three of them.
- Product – early print deadline
- Price – what will it be tomorrow?
- Promotion – awful branding, surprise launch
In retrospect, maybe nine weeks’ life was not that bad!