Me Magazine: living everyday life

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One of Finland's most popular customer magazines, Me is delivered monthly to carefully targeted Tradeka YkkösBonus customers. Managing mass-circulation printed products takes specialised expertise, particularly in the post-processing.

Me (the Finnish for Us) is Tradeka's nationwide YkkösBonus loyal-customer magazine. Editor-in-Chief to magazine Jaana Huttunen says Me is a dependable bonus-scheme magazine, with content mainly focusing on food, everyday family life and consumer issues. With its circulation of over 800,000, 12 times a year, Me ranks among Finland's most widely read magazines.
"Readership research indicates that over 90 percent of recipients actively read the magazine. Most readers are citydwellers actively involved in working life, so Me also offers advertisers major visibility," Huttunen says.
Me's food features are among its most-read elements. Each issue has at least eight pages of goodies for the home epicure.
"In our summer issue we talk about Portuguese delicacies. The subtle mood of the pictures was generated in an authentic setting, in southern Portugal in the summer."
Articles about family life and relationships also get read. Huttunen says this year's hit has been the "relationships put to the test" series.
"Unlike other shops' customer magazines we take the human approach. The main feature in each magazine always centres on some interesting individual. While well-put-together covers mean we are able to compete with subscription magazines for readers' attention," Huttunen believes.

Articles about the YkkösBonus loyal customer scheme always approach their themes from a practical angle. Huttunen gives the example of an article about a broadband service.
"In our broadband article we say what a broadband connection is and what you need to take into account when you get one. The YkkösBonus and Sonera Broadband bonus points accumulated from product purchases are listed in a sidebar. In this case the main feature is journalistically as interesting as possible, and the reader doesn't get the feeling that they are being pushed into something," Huttunen says.
Me magazine is mailed out to the homes of Tradeka's active YkkösBonus regular customers every month. It can also be picked up in the local Siwa, Valintatalo or Euromarket shops. In addition to Tradeka shops, YkkösBonus points can be collected from the products of 15 other nationwide chains, which also actively advertise their products in Me.

"One of the cornerstones of our operations is focusing the magazines on the right customer groups. We want to identify specific customer groups among our large band of readers, who then get inserts with adverts for the products that are most likely to interest them. To do this we use a comprehensive customer register that helps us, for instance, identify customers' buying habits," says Tradeka's Head of Loyal-Customer Services, Timo Savinen.

Tradeka's Marketing Director Kari Luoto says Hansaprint was a natural choice of partner for Me magazine. In addition to large print runs, the printing house's capacity also incorporates the special expertise required for personalising the magazine, as in the various alternative pages and inserts.
"We aim to develop inserts further. The merger of Tradeka and Wihuri in August certainly also poses challenges for the development of the magazine," Luoto believes.
This new partnership means that collaboration with Finland Post has also improved substantially.
"Since our operating model has already been carefully planned in advance, Finland Post gives us preferential pricing in line with their operating terms," says Savinen.
Apart from the printing work, inserts and mailing, Hansaprint also looks after the repro work for Me.
"Excellent repro was a crucial criterion. Food pictures, in particular, have to be reproduced with absolutely exemplary printing quality," Editor-in-Chief Huttunen says.
"Having one distinct partner leaves us to concentrate on developing Me's content," is how she sums up the benefits of the collaboration.