Having seen people selling the Big Issue in Rundle Mall and throughout the city many times, one day I finally stopped and bought a copy.
It had David Bowie on the cover and was sold by a lovely man at the train station who sings songs to passers by.
I had previously noted that there are more often than not big celebrities on the cover much like any magazine, so celebrity brand cred, tick! Other than that, when purchasing I knew I was contributing to helping those less financially able, often displaced and homeless but that was about it.
The Big Issue has long tapped into the ‘conscious consumer movement’ where we get our purchase high, a product in our hand and the added bonus of knowing that through our actions we are helping those in need.
Purchase made I opened my first issue and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the content, thoughtful and well-written articles, celebrity interviews and book and movie reviews. Tick!
What impressed me the most is that every issue shines a spotlight on one of their sellers, telling their story and why they sell the Big Issue. Humanising those displaced changes our brand perception and makes us view the homeless in a new light.
PLUS this brand continues to drive print – often heralded as a dying market.
So, the Big Issue promotes its own brand as a consumer entity, enhances my brand as a conscious consumer as I read it on the bus or train, changes the brand perception of the homeless and continues to support print in a growing digital marketplace (while maintaining a strong social media presence).
That’s why I’m loving the Big Issue; because it showcases the power of people, an idea and a well executed brand.