Dagens Nyheter, a national newspaper in Sweden, wanted to revitalise its print edition, increase reader loyalty, and generate a bigger audience.

Johan Othelius, DN’s marketing and sales director, presented the process and success of re-envisioning the newspaper Sunday in a “brainsnack” presentation at the 82nd INMA World Congress.

When the editors of DN talked about redesigning their newspaper, they knew it went further than changing content.

“It all starts with the readers,” Othelius said.

The DN asked 20,000 readers for their opinions on the newspaper a year before the design would launch. The paper wanted support from its readers as much as their opinions, and the results were remarkable. It led to the print edition’s biggest makeover in more than 30 years.  

Before the launch of the redesign, DN ran a series of 18 advertisements featuring a picture and quote of some of those who gave their opinions in the survey. 

“Having them share with other readers was key,” Othelius said.

The new design launched in September 2011. It featured a section about Stockholm, because readers indicated they wanted more local news about the city, despite the fact DN is read nationally. They also altered focus on certain content and completely redesigned the front of the newspaper.

DN wanted readers to know their opinion mattered. After the launch, they set up tents to talk to readers about the changes and celebrated with those who originally gave their ideas.

As a result of the change, DN gained 60,000 new readers and 40,000 new subscribers.  DN also became recognised for the new look of the newspaper.