Although the story is 30 years in the making, restaurant guide publisher Zagat provides a wealth of examples for other book and magazine publishers to consider.
The company started with and maintains a broad array of print guides, most offering restaurant reviews. In the past decade, the firm expanded its online presence, which offers memberships on a subscription basis. It has also ventured into the wine club market.
Beet TV’s Andy Plesser recently posted an interview with firm co-founder Nina Zagat, in which she tells the story of the firm and its growth over the last three decades. Plesser had earlier interviewed Ryan Charles, senior product manager for Zagat Survey, about the development of Zagat apps that combine product information with geo-location services – a clear win in this space.
The interview with Nina Zagat points out that the publisher was “crowd-sourcing” long before the buzzword took hold. Participation is a vital part of the firm’s community model, as is finding new ways to link its rich content with the tools available to its audience.
Full diclosure: We were part of a team that consulted with Zagat in 2004. All of the information presented in this post is drawn from public sources.