Anna Wintour on audiences

The relationship between creator and audience is one of leading and following. If you’re a creator, you may find that you’re best off making things that you wanted to see yourself; that your audience will follow you because they want the same thing. 

For me, I’m glad I caved into my instinct and found the primary source of yesterday’s quote, which took just a few seconds thanks to author Amy Odell’s crisp bibliography. It led me to a bunch of introductory transcripts from other modules in Anna Wintour’s video course at Masterclass, which enabled me to find this gem (emphasis added):

We have research, and facts, and data that supports who looks, who watches, who sees us. And they are educated, single, usually living in a city. But [I don’t think] any of us have one image when we’re talking to the “Vogue” reader, to the “Vogue” audience. We are just talking to them about what we care about, what we’re passionate about, what we believe in, what we understand. And we believe that if we speak with that passion, and that voice, and that sense of authority, and all the amazing resources that we have, and the credible people that we’re able to talk to that inform all the decisions that we make, that our passion, that our belief will reach that audience. 

I do not believe, I don’t think any of us who work at Condé Nast, who work at “Vogue,” is that you can find an audience or develop an audience through data, or research, or analytics. They can help you. They can inform you. They can make you focus on something. 

And they can tell you something you probably already guessed or thought. But at the end, the vision, the heart, the soul comes from the creative talent that’s putting it out there every single day. And your audiences– your audiences, your readers, your customers, whoever it may be, they will find you because of that passion. 

While insights and analytics can inform your work, the main source of energy is something more inherent to you.

This is the similar insight that David Chang came to early in starting up Momofuku; people didn’t want to eat what he thought they wanted to eat, they wanted to eat what he and his friends were eating. Doing it yourself—and doing it for yourself—is a very simple, powerful, idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *