Ink Publishing, the magazine publisher was struggling with profitability as most magazine publishing firms are. So they came up with a new idea: become the world’s largest producer of in-flight magazines. They achieved their goal. Today they handle 40 titles for carriers from 17 countries, as reported in the Wall Street Journal in the November 27, 2009 issue.

This strategy not only strengthened their financial position it also increased their overall brand’s impact by broadening its customer base to include Ryanair Holdings PLC to Bahrain’s upscale Gulf Air. The Journal reported Ink Publishing will soon add UAL Corp.’s United Airlines and Air France-KLM SA to its stable.

From a brand strategy perspective, this was a wise move because airline titles have minimal marketing and distribution costs to amortize against advertising revenue. This allows the existing readership, which comes from passenger traffic at no cost, to boost earnings and profitability.

So what can be learned from this? If your market’s sales are down, perhaps your team can brainstorm on new markets to pursue without adding additional marketing and operational expenses.