As content publishers jockey for the attention of advertisers and investors, the last thing they want to do is explain how their corporate branding relates to their asset portfolio. That’s why, after 93 years, Reader’s Digest Association is announcing today that it’s changing its name to Trusted Media Brands Inc.
“I look at this as the fact that we have all these brands and we’re always in the position of having to explain ourselves,” says Trusted Media Brands CEO Bonnie Kintzer. “That’s not the position you want to be in.”
The new name gives equal weight to the company’s full suite of brands, which expanded dramatically when RDA bought Reiman Publications for $760 million back in 2002. Chief among those brands was Taste of Home.
“The name should have changed when Reader’s Digest bought Reiman,” says Kintzer. “At that point it became a very broad-based portfolio. I look at this as a long overdue change.”
RDA hired creative agency Starfish, which was originally hired to work on an advertising positioning project. During that process, Starfish came up with six building-block terms to describe a common theme that ran through all of RDA’s products (uplifting, enduring, wholesome, trusted, empowering, amplified engagement).
Kintzer, who says she’s wanted to change the company’s name since she took over in April 2014, jumped on the opportunity to expand the project into a full rebranding. From there, Starfish developed the new logo and redesigned the corporate website.
The full digital platform attracts 53 million monthly uniques, says the company, and in the last couple of years TMBI has built out an online education platform, called EnrichU, that spans its Taste of Home, Family Handyman and Reader’s Digest brands.
“It shows that we are a modern, current company with many brands, and what really runs through our brands is trust,” says Kintzer. “Our customers are trusting us to give them a recipe, health advice and craft ideas. Part of the genesis of this really started before the name change. How do you go to market to position the company with advertisers? What’s the common thread?”