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How do you provide a network of retailers with crucial trade information while simultaneously boosting your brand and your bottom line?
That was the central conundrum facing Unitas Wholesale when it approached Monitor Creative’s team of experts.
But there were further complications to consider, too. Many of the independent retailers relying on Unitas Wholesale only spoke English as a second language. A large proportion also regularly worked 70-hour weeks.
So communicating industry news, promotions, peer-to-peer advice and new products was going to be a challenge in more ways than one.
“I want to thank you all very much for the fabulous job you’ve done on Today’s Retailer. You’ve been a formidable force and have created some great work.
“As a team, you’ve been an absolute pleasure to work with… You have all been fabulously amazing and I cannot thank you enough for your help and support.”
With a buying power of more than £8.5 billion, Unitas Wholesale is the UK’s largest wholesale services company. Its reach and status meant any solution had to be industry-leading.
We were tasked with creating a bi-monthly members’ magazine that celebrated the vibrancy of the convenience sector. As well as providing useful tips, news and legislative updates, Unitas also wanted the magazine to act as a powerful recruitment tool among independent retailers.
Our experience in digital publications helped us deliver initial concepts, cover styles and potential magazine names. Over the following seven years, these were regularly revisited. Annual style and content reviews kept the magazine fresh.
A well-defined process ensured each issue was produced to a consistently high quality. First, an editorial meeting reviewed the previous issue. This allowed for the analysis of reading stats gathered through the publication’s digital platform.
We would then discuss content options for the next issue, defining each issue’s overall theme and finalising a page plan before starting a three-pronged production practice:
Copywriting We completed comprehensive research for each article. We determined the key messages to be conveyed, interviewed key stakeholders and worked with our copywriting partner to ensure articles were lively, relevant and easy to read.
Design Our design team created and refreshed all style guidelines. These aimed to attract the widest possible audience, presenting information in engaging ways and making use of the unique capabilities of digital magazines.
Project management We regularly liaised with Unitas Wholesale, providing the updates and transparency needed to build and maintain a high level of trust. Weekly catch-up calls maintained the momentum on each issue. Our attention to detail ensured each magazine was delivered on time and on budget.
Over seven years, our work on Today’s Retailer magazine gave Unitas Wholesale a range of benefits.
Advertising income generated a valuable new revenue stream. Member communication was significantly increased, with reading insights enabling us to tailor the content with each issue (for example, peer-to-peer advice was always the most popular).
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