Exactly what are Quebec’s differences?

When asked to contribute an article discussing Quebec readers and the difference between Quebecers and English-Canadians, I thought this was going to be easy.But I was soon to realize the contrary, because if we analyze closely the demographics of French women...

When asked to contribute an article discussing Quebec readers and the difference between Quebecers and English-Canadians, I thought this was going to be easy.

But I was soon to realize the contrary, because if we analyze closely the demographics of French women aged 25-54, (to whom Coup de pouce is targetted), we find that except for the language, there are few differences between French and English women.

However, when it comes to attitude towards life and culture, Quebecers are much different.

But exactly what are those differences?

They are hard to pinpoint precisely, and our biggest challenge as media people is to find the best way to communicate with our readers.

According to our research on Canadian socio-cultural trends, Coup de pouce readers are active persons, leading complex lives and playing several roles.

They need help to organize their lives, want the latest items on the market, take pleasure in consuming, strive for originality, and are concerned with their appearance.

To adapt to constant changes, our readers have expressed an increased interest for tools that will help them manage life’s complexities.

People want advice on how to consume more efficiently, how to get the best product that will meet their own specific needs.

Informative advertising

In that respect, readers look for informative advertising that will help them make the right choice. This is why advertorials, set in the proper environment, are becoming so popular.

Quebecers want to exercise control over their own lives, whereas English-Canadians look for a greater leadership in society in general. A small, and yet important, difference.

One may say these characteristics resemble those of English-Canadians. Well, to some extent they do, because after all, people are people and consumers are consumers.

But the average Quebecer wants to be addressed in a more personal way, that will respect Quebec culture, its star system, its latin ways and its emotions. Little things will make the difference noticeable and as media people, we must pay attention to that difference.

We have a sister publication titled Canadian Living, a magazine which is as successful in English Canada as Coup de pouce is in Quebec.

Coup de pouce and Canadian Living are two magazines with the same mission.

They both contain practical information for women about every aspect of life (food, fashion, beauty, decoration, psychology, education and family.)

But even though our mission is the same, our contents and formats are not. Coup de pouce has a glossy cover, the recipes are collected in a 32-page pullout section and the layouts are different.

When Coup de pouce addresses issues, they are targetted to one homogeneous group; Quebec women.

Canadian Living, on the other hand, faces the challenges of reaching the women of all other provinces with their own cultural differences.

Different perspective

Our treatments of the same issues will, therefore, take on a different perspective.

Women of Quebec want to be addressed as a distinct group, and not as ‘just another group in Canada.’

In the Quebec magazine market, because of the fierce competition at the newsstand, the concept of added value takes on a whole new perspective.

On that subject, Coup de pouce is maintaining an aggressive stand.

Our added-value propositions this year (polybagged issues with supplements such as gift guide, ‘Mini Coup de pouce’ targetted to parents of young children, outserts) have allowed us in a competitive environment to increase our circulation by 5% (ABC December ’92 vs ’91).

Another interesting fact; according to PMB Print Measurement Bureau figures, 33.7% of Quebecers are heavy buyers of magazines, compared with 23.1% in English Canada.

Through its mission as a practical service magazine, Coup de pouce is positioning itself as a great tool for helping Quebec women in their everyday lives.

Michele Cyr is publisher of Coup de pouce, a publication of Montreal-based Les Editions Telemedia.